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  Reply # 786120 23-Mar-2013 23:33
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DarthKermit:
mattwnz:
freitasm: 

There's a huge difference between professional waiters as we see in some other countries and the very informal service provided by students in cafes. Once again I agree with them.



We don't tip in NZ, which could be part of the reason, as there is no incentive for someone on a low wage to provide really good service.


Hmmmm. I've seen a right proliferation of tipping jars in eateries and bars over the last few years. I don't tip though.


We had some clients from Europe staying in our B&B a couple of weeks ago.

They went for dinner in a local hotel.

48 minutes after they ordered, a member of staff deigned to advise them that the dishes 2 of them had ordered were not available that night.

In what way is that level of service acceptable in the 21st century in a supposedly civilised and modern nation?

The clients were far more patient than I would have been -  I'd have got up and left. 

In circumstances like that, I would think helping yourself to a reverse tip in recompense for having your time wasted would be reasonable!





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  Reply # 786129 23-Mar-2013 23:47
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Linuxluver:
GBristow: There's a solid argument for ending GST and increasing personal/business tax rates. This is going to be an increasingly common problem. Removing GST promotes all kinds of positive effects for the economy. Of course this is unpalatable to the voting public because it means less cash in the hand.


It's worth remembering the 10% GST in 1987 (?) replaced the 45% "luxury" sales tax on pretty much anything you plugged into a power socket that didn't cook food. 

That 45% sales tax was on top of the margin added price which likely also included the 120% import duty.

The best example I know of personally was an Akai stereo I bought in Toronto in early 1982 for C$550. The *exact* same stereo model was being sold in Wellington for NZ$1650....and the NZ$ was worth almost the same as the Canadian dollar.

Bear in mind salaries in NZ were lower than in Canada at the time...so paying 3 times as much for something was often closer to 4 times as much in relation to earning power.

GST is a reasonably certain way to get some tax revenue from wealthy people who contrive to avoid paying income tax. This is why Roger Douglas wanted a "consumption" tax instead of an income tax. he felt the income tax penalised workers...while the GST penalised spenders...and he was trying to encourage savings.   

Douglas also wanted a flat tax...and "announced" one....which prompted David Lange to stop for a cup of tea. 

For what it's worth....I was with Lange. Flat tax would have bankrupted the country, which I suspect was Douglas's plan.....to force everything into the private sector. That would have been a complete disaster as the private sector is too often unreliable and / or corrupt because it is less transparent...and there is a culture of paying lip service to the law while making out like bandits.    


I'm not really bothered about getting tax from people too bright to pay it. Indeed, I consider it a duty to pay as little as legally possible since governments mostly waste it anyway.

I'm more bothered about getting it from those too lazy, feckless, indolent or otherwise who manage to get through life living off everyone else.

GST is very good for that, as everyone has to pay it.

If you think the private sector has no transparency and does not obey the law, I can assure you it is perfectly possible for that not to be the case.

In Britain, private companies (all created from state owned operations) supply water, sewage, electricity, gas, rail, telecoms and so on. Whilst rail can be a bit patchy, all the others are actually pretty efficient and innovative. Anglian Water, a UK water company (privatised in the early 90's from a government owned operation), designed and built the sewage treatment plant at Moa Point in Wellington, for example.

The key is adequate regulation with teeth. Every 5 years, all the former SEO's must submit their plans to the Official Regulator for their industry. These plans include what they will charge, how much better their customer service will get, how much better their network maintenance will get, what they will do to secure supply and so on. The Regulator then doubles what they have to achieve and halves what they can charge (not literally but you get the idea) and they cannot charge a bean more for the next 5 years. If they fail to meet the agreed targets, huge fines will be levied on them.

There is complete transparency and under such scrutiny those companies work far better than they ever did when full of dull plodding government employees who required 10 signatures to get a new pencil!





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 786143 24-Mar-2013 01:21
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rayonline: 
I heard that airfares to NZ from UK is a lot cheaper maybe b/c they have a lot of other airlines there going to other places like Canada / USA / Australia that AirNZ has to be competitive but when they are in NZ they have the ability to price it higher.  Just going over to Australia they have more airlines to the rest of the world but for a NZder to do that would mean an extra return fare to Ozzie first.


I always look at airfares ex-Australia. Bought a ticket Auckland-Sydney-Vancouver recently that was over $500 cheaper than going Auckland-Vancouver.  



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  Reply # 786180 24-Mar-2013 09:10
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Geektastic: Anglian Water, a UK water company (privatised in the early 90's from a government owned operation), designed and built the sewage treatment plant at Moa Point in Wellington, for example.



You would only call that a design success if you'd never lived near it.

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  Reply # 786364 24-Mar-2013 19:46
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Geektastic: We had some clients from Europe staying in our B&B a couple of weeks ago.

They went for dinner in a local hotel.

48 minutes after they ordered, a member of staff deigned to advise them that the dishes 2 of them had ordered were not available that night.

In what way is that level of service acceptable in the 21st century in a supposedly civilised and modern nation?

The clients were far more patient than I would have been -  I'd have got up and left. 

In circumstances like that, I would think helping yourself to a reverse tip in recompense for having your time wasted would be reasonable!


That's a shocking lack of service. IMO, they should have gotten a free or perhaps half price meal as a good will gesture.

I met my sister for lunch in the cafe/bar in the Welly train station last week. My meal was really slow at coming out (they should have both come out together).

When we queried where mine was, the waitress apologised and went to get mine, and asked me if I'd like another drink. This drink was on the house, which I was pleased about. It's nice when they do something like that to make ammends.




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


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  Reply # 786381 24-Mar-2013 20:11
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Im usually happy if they just appologize and are decent about it. Even that is beyond so many "service" staff in NZ




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 786652 25-Mar-2013 13:22
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I'm not really bothered about getting tax from people too bright to pay it. Indeed, I consider it a duty to pay as little as legally possible since governments mostly waste it anyway.

I'm more bothered about getting it from those too lazy, feckless, indolent or otherwise who manage to get through life living off everyone else.

GST is very good for that, as everyone has to pay it.

If you think the private sector has no transparency and does not obey the law, I can assure you it is perfectly possible for that not to be the case.

In Britain, private companies (all created from state owned operations) supply water, sewage, electricity, gas, rail, telecoms and so on. Whilst rail can be a bit patchy, all the others are actually pretty efficient and innovative. Anglian Water, a UK water company (privatised in the early 90's from a government owned operation), designed and built the sewage treatment plant at Moa Point in Wellington, for example.

The key is adequate regulation with teeth. Every 5 years, all the former SEO's must submit their plans to the Official Regulator for their industry. These plans include what they will charge, how much better their customer service will get, how much better their network maintenance will get, what they will do to secure supply and so on. The Regulator then doubles what they have to achieve and halves what they can charge (not literally but you get the idea) and they cannot charge a bean more for the next 5 years. If they fail to meet the agreed targets, huge fines will be levied on them.

There is complete transparency and under such scrutiny those companies work far better than they ever did when full of dull plodding government employees who required 10 signatures to get a new pencil!


So you consider it a duty to pay as little tax as possible because governments waste it?

At the same time your solution to increase transparency and adherence to the law is regulation?

Who exactly in this solution would be running the regulator? The same wasteful government? An independent organisation? Who funds the organisation? Who are they beholden to? What laws do they abide by or enforce? Who will pass these laws? Where are the incentives? 

There are a number of positives that CAN be gained from privatization, but there is also the potential for a lot of harm. The belief that privatization makes everything more efficient and is all rainbows is deeply and severely flawed. At the same time a publicly traded company cannot operate with what you describe. Public companies must provide benefits to shareholders, or else they go elsewhere. Who on earth would invest in a company in the environment you describe? Noone. Share price tanks, as will the company, government is forces to buy them out or face national infrastructure failures. We are not the first country to go through SOE privatization and there are plenty of disaster stories out there, see water supply in south america for one.

There are a number of services that make little to no commercial sense but deliver an important social benefit. I pay my tax. I could probably get out of more of it if I tried. I am pissed off at the high level of social welfare dependence and sense of entitlement. At the same time I am incredibly grateful for the amazing healthcare my family has received at no cost to me. I am also grateful for the police force, motorways and everything else provided to me.

In short - regulation is not a panacea. Companies aim to maximise profits, it is what they do. While we'd all like to live in an ethical, socially responsible world the truth is if there is someone willing to do the "bad" thing and in doing so make more money - people will do it.

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  Reply # 786654 25-Mar-2013 13:27
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Elpie: I always look at airfares ex-Australia. Bought a ticket Auckland-Sydney-Vancouver recently that was over $500 cheaper than going Auckland-Vancouver.

I guess it depends how much you value your time.

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  Reply # 786678 25-Mar-2013 14:16
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Parents returned from Australia, and found so many things so much cheaper in Oz, even adding on 20% for the exchange rate. Ikea has a lot of really cheap things, that are up to 4 times the price if you by them in NZ. Especially kitchen related stuff. I think the problem with NZ retailers in general, is they price the noraml price if things too high. Extends to building materials too, where NZ is 30% more expensive than Australia, and Australia isn't cheap either.

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  Reply # 786714 25-Mar-2013 15:36
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mattwnz: Parents returned from Australia, and found so many things so much cheaper in Oz, even adding on 20% for the exchange rate. Ikea has a lot of really cheap things, that are up to 4 times the price if you by them in NZ. Especially kitchen related stuff. I think the problem with NZ retailers in general, is they price the noraml price if things too high. Extends to building materials too, where NZ is 30% more expensive than Australia, and Australia isn't cheap either.


in addition to physical distance, economies of scale and exchange rate issues...

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  Reply # 786761 25-Mar-2013 16:28
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freitasm:
rayonline: So this duty thing only apply when it is $50 more than the $400NZ limit?


There won't be collection of GST if the GST amount to be collected is $60. This means purchases from overseas (including shipping) have to be at least $400 for the $60 GST to be collected ($400 x 15%).

Duty is a different thing. Some products attract duty regardless of declared value, some don't.





^ everyone reading this thread should take note of the above.

there is NO $400 limit !

it is a $60 threshold on GST.

more they collect

less they don't.


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  Reply # 786763 25-Mar-2013 16:31
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macuser:

I guess it doesn't hurt to have a tip jar there, especially for tourists or people who don't want to deal with piles of loose change.

I don't tip. Why should I when the other day I got charged $17.50 for this breakfast main (french toast).  Oh, and please note this is a regular sized plate.  

 

Small Meal


geeez that's some of the saddest french toast i've ever seen.

i hate toast on anything less than a full size slice of bread.

a local cafe's 'big' breakfast is just as feeble, place has new owners, higher prices, smaller servings - buggers are even using half-sized hash browns !

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  Reply # 786766 25-Mar-2013 16:37
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ilovemusic:
freitasm:
rayonline: So this duty thing only apply when it is $50 more than the $400NZ limit?


There won't be collection of GST if the GST amount to be collected is $60. This means purchases from overseas (including shipping) have to be at least $400 for the $60 GST to be collected ($400 x 15%).

Duty is a different thing. Some products attract duty regardless of declared value, some don't.





^ everyone reading this thread should take note of the above.

there is NO $400 limit !

it is a $60 threshold on GST.

more they collect

less they don't.


$60 threshold is for GST and duty, BTW.

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  Reply # 786822 25-Mar-2013 18:01
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wasabi2k:
mattwnz: Parents returned from Australia, and found so many things so much cheaper in Oz, even adding on 20% for the exchange rate. Ikea has a lot of really cheap things, that are up to 4 times the price if you by them in NZ. Especially kitchen related stuff. I think the problem with NZ retailers in general, is they price the noraml price if things too high. Extends to building materials too, where NZ is 30% more expensive than Australia, and Australia isn't cheap either.


in addition to physical distance, economies of scale and exchange rate issues...


True to a level, but NZ has cheaper labour, and possibly cheaper shop rents compared to Australian cities. NZ could be considered another  state of Australia based in the way some Australian business's operate in NZ, so the economies of scale should transfer across when it comes to Australian companies operating in NZ.

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  Reply # 786824 25-Mar-2013 18:05
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bazzer:
ilovemusic:
freitasm:
rayonline: So this duty thing only apply when it is $50 more than the $400NZ limit?


There won't be collection of GST if the GST amount to be collected is $60. This means purchases from overseas (including shipping) have to be at least $400 for the $60 GST to be collected ($400 x 15%).

Duty is a different thing. Some products attract duty regardless of declared value, some don't.





^ everyone reading this thread should take note of the above.

there is NO $400 limit !

it is a $60 threshold on GST.

more they collect

less they don't.


$60 threshold is for GST and duty, BTW.


Yeah - watch this when buying clothes and shoes. For some inane reason there is a 10% tax on those items over and above GST.

Best to buy that stuff on hols and just say you took it with you if they ask. Which is unlikely.





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