A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY 01
ELECTING A GOVERNMENT 02
THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND 03
THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE 07
YOU AND THE POLI...
GOVERNMENT



A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY
 New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy.
 Although its style of governmen...
After an election, the new Government may be formed       ELECTING A GOVERNMENT
     in several ways. If one party wins ov...
Each party’s total number of Party Votes determines           THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND
its share of the 120 seats in Parliam...
04




           “IT’S GREAT TO HAVE
       A CHANCE TO WORK WITH
     NEW MIGRANTS AND SHARE
      SOME OF MY EXPERIENCE...
Court of Appeal                                            There are more than 100 tribunals, authorities, boards
The Cour...
Getting legal help                                           Fees
     Lawyers are listed in the Yellow Pages under both  ...
THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE                                      Neighbourhood Support
                                        ...
08
         “MY MOTHER’S STILL IN
          THE COOK ISLANDS AND
        MY BACKGROUND REALLY
     HELPS WHEN WORKING WITH...
YOU AND THE POLICE                                           If the Police want to search you or your home, vehicle
      ...
If you are suspected of having committed a crime, and
     “LIFE IS SAFE AND SECURE
                                      ...
FIREARMS                                                      PAYING TAX
 In New Zealand it is illegal to have a gun for s...
12




                “THE TAXATION AND
     ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS HERE ARE
        VERY EASY TO WORK WITH –
      I’VE HAD ...
Tax Residency                                             Note: you can keep similar ties, or even a home, in other countr...
IRD numbers                                                 INCOME TAX
     An IRD number is a unique identifying number t...
Resident Withholding Tax (RWT)                            If you and your children are in New Zealand unlawfully
You pay R...
16




              “STUDENT LOANS ARE
          INTEREST FREE UNTIL YOU
     START WORK AND THAT’S A HELP
             F...
Student loans                                               A student loan is a debt and you must:
The Student Loan Scheme...
Salary and wage earners                                     IR3 Tax Returns
     Over the last few years, Inland Revenue h...
www.courts.govt.nz/family
WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES                                   Family Court of New Zealan...
www.ltsa.govt.nz                                                             GENERAL SITES
     Land Transport Safety Auth...
Design
Scenario Communications Limited, www.scenario.co.nz
Principal Photographer
Earp-Jones Originals, Ivor@ihug.co.nz
Co...
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Nzis Sp Government

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Everything you need to know about New Zealand government, justice system and many more

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Nzis Sp Government

  1. 1. A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY 01 ELECTING A GOVERNMENT 02 THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND 03 THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE 07 YOU AND THE POLICE 09 FIREARMS 11 PROTECTION AGAINST FAMILY/ DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 11 PAYING TAX 11 INCOME TAX 14 WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES 19 06 GOVERNMENT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT, JUDICIAL SYSTEM, VOTING, LAWS AND TAXES
  2. 2. GOVERNMENT A PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY New Zealand is a modern parliamentary democracy. Although its style of government still follows the Westminster cabinet model, there are important distinctions. The national government comprises a single legislature, the House of Representatives, which is elected every three years rather than the five-year cycle customary in the Westminster system. In 1993, New Zealand also adopted a new electoral system based on proportional representation. The “THE COMMONWEALTH 01 traditional Westminster system requires that all Members of Parliament (MPs) represent a geographical CONNECTION MADE electorate and are elected solely on the basis of the NEW ZEALAND A LOGICAL vote within that electorate. This is known as the “first past the post” system and means that to be elected, PLACE TO STUDY LAW.” an MP must obtain the highest number of votes in the H O N G K O N G M I G R A N T A N D L AW Y E R , electorate. Under New Zealand’s MMP system (Mixed CANDY CHAN. Member Proportional), the 120 MPs are elected either as electorate MPs or as list MPs. The electoral process for electorate MPs follows the Westminster system. However, the process for electing list MPs is quite different. List MPs do not contest a particular electorate. Future List MPs are first selected as candidates by their political party and then appointed on the basis of their party’s proportion of the national vote.
  3. 3. After an election, the new Government may be formed ELECTING A GOVERNMENT in several ways. If one party wins over 50% of the national vote, it can form a Majority Government. Your eligibility to vote When no single party commands a majority, the largest Voting is not compulsory in New Zealand but, if you party may either form a Minority Government, with are eligible to vote, you are required to enrol as an support from parties outside the Government, or form elector. To enrol to vote you must be a permanent a Majority Coalition Government, with the support of resident and at least 18 years old. You also need to one or more other parties. The Prime Minister leads have lived here on a continuous basis for a year and the party or coalition which has majority support in have resided in your electorate for at least one month. the House of Representatives. Cabinet is the decision- Electoral records are maintained by the Registrar of making hub of Government. It is headed by the Prime Electors and are updated twice every three years. Minister, comprises Ministers chosen from the However, if you change your address it is advisable to Members of Parliament and is supported by junior advise the Registrar directly. Both enrolment and ministers outside of Cabinet. address changes can be arranged through New Zealand Queen Elizabeth II remains constitutional head Post Shops. If there are special reasons why your name of state but plays no active part in Government. The and address should not be published in the Electoral 02 Roll, they can be registered on the unpublished roll. public responsibilities of the Crown are carried out by a New Zealand appointed and politically neutral The electoral process Governor-General. Under the MMP system, the House of Representatives comprises 120 MPs. Of these, 51 are list MPs (candidates nominated by registered political parties prior to the general election), 62 represent General Electorates and seven Maori Electorates. Only Maori who are registered on the Maori Roll can vote in a Maori Electorate. All others are registered on the General Roll. Registered electors cast two votes: • a vote for a political party – this is known as the Party Vote • a vote for a candidate seeking to represent a local electorate – this is known as the Electorate Vote.
  4. 4. Each party’s total number of Party Votes determines THE LAW IN NEW ZEALAND its share of the 120 seats in Parliament. However, before a party is entitled to this share, The judicial system it must receive at least 5% of all Party Votes cast at the New Zealand has an independent judiciary. The Chief election, or win at least one General or Maori Electorate. Justice is appointed by the Governor-General The system works like this. A Party that wins 30% on the advice of the Prime Minister. Judges are of the Party Vote is entitled to 36 MPs in total. If it appointed by the Governor-General – generally, on the already has 15 Electorate MPs, a further 21 List MPs recommendation of the Attorney-General. will be appointed to bring its total to 36. This ensures Court of Appeal and High Court judges can only be that final representation fairly reflects a party’s share removed from office by the Queen or the Governor- of the national vote. List MPs are appointed on the General, acting on a recommendation from the House basis of a candidate’s ranking on the party list. of Representatives. District Court judges can be removed from office by the Governor-General. Local Government Lawyers who have held a practising certificate for Local government (often referred to as ‘local’ or at least seven years are eligible for appointment ‘territorial authorities’) operates on two levels: regional as judges. councils, and district and city councils. 03 There are 12 regional councils. These are respons- Courts of general jurisdiction ible for such matters as water supply, parks and The courts of general jurisdiction deal with criminal reserves, land transport planning and resource and civil matters. management. Criminal matters are offences against the law that The role of the regional councils is complemented result in imprisonment or other penalties. Civil matters by the work of district and city councils. There are usually involve disputes, such as a breach of contract, 59 district councils and 15 city councils. Their areas of defamation or claims for damages. responsibility are similar to those of regional councils The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and include water supply, land use, building controls, The Privy Council is still New Zealand’s final court of roading and transport, as well as community appeal and highest court. It sits in London with eminent development. British and New Zealand judges presiding and deals Local government elections are held every three mainly with appeals against judgements in civil cases. years. Regional council electorates are known as However, the Government is currently considering ‘constituencies’; district and city council electorates as alternatives and it is expected that New Zealand will ‘wards’. If you are registered as a parliamentary elector, establish its own Supreme Court by 2004. you can also vote in local government elections. Voting is usually by postal ballot.
  5. 5. 04 “IT’S GREAT TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WORK WITH NEW MIGRANTS AND SHARE SOME OF MY EXPERIENCE. HERE THE GOVERNMENT REALLY HELPS PEOPLE.” ETHIOPIAN MIGRANT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT E T H N I C L I A I S O N O F F I C E R , G E TAW C H E R I N E T.
  6. 6. Court of Appeal There are more than 100 tribunals, authorities, boards The Court of Appeal is the highest appeal court in New or committees. These deal with a wide range of disputes Zealand. It consists of the Chief Justice, the President involving issues such as censorship, taxation, tenancy of the Court of Appeal and six other judges of the and employment. Some of the better known ones are Court of Appeal. Its role is to determine the law of New the Employment, Disputes, Tenancy and Treaty of Zealand and to reconcile conflicting court decisions. Waitangi Tribunals. The High Court Justices of the Peace The High Court is made up of the Chief Justice and Justices of the Peace (JPs) are appointed by the 36 other judges. The judges are based in Auckland, Governor-General on the recommendation of the Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, but travel Minister of Justice following nomination by on circuit to 13 other centres from Whangarei to Members of Parliament. There are about 10,000 JPs Invercargill. The High Court deals with major in New Zealand. crimes and the more significant civil claims. It also JPs principally serve as witnesses for documents, hears appeals from lower courts and tribunals. such as statutory declarations, wills and insurance claims, although they can also grant search warrants The District Courts and sometimes assist District Courts in adjudicating 05 New Zealand presently has 64 District Courts located minor criminal and traffic charges. JPs are listed under throughout the country. They have extensive civil and ‘Justices of the Peace’ in the Yellow Pages. criminal jurisdiction. Serious crimes, such as rape and armed robbery, can be transferred from the High Court Jury service to the District Courts for trial. Juries in New Zealand are selected at random from the Electoral Roll. If you are enrolled as an elector and Specialist courts aged between 20 and 65, you may be selected to New Zealand has a number of specialist courts. perform this important service. On most occasions, • The Employment Court deals with labour relations. you will be asked to hear a criminal case. • Family Courts deal with matters such as custody, You can be excused from jury service only if there parental access, divorce, adoption, protection orders is a good reason, such as hardship, personal beliefs, and the care and protection of children. childcare responsibilities or permanent disability. You • Youth Courts deal with offences committed by young may be exempted from service if you have served on people (older than 14 but less than 17). a jury within the last two years. • The Maori Land Court and Maori Appellate Court deal with matters relating to Maori land. • The Environment Court deals with resource management, planning and development matters.
  7. 7. Getting legal help Fees Lawyers are listed in the Yellow Pages under both Legal fees vary widely. To avoid unpleasant surprises, ‘Lawyers’ and ‘Barristers & Solicitors’. The distinction it is always advisable to enquire about fees before reflects the type of legal work lawyers specialise in: commissioning any legal work. barristers deal with court work; solicitors with other Free legal help legal work that does not require them to represent Legal aid is available only for matters that you cannot their clients in court. Most lawyers are qualified both resolve without a lawyer acting for you in court, or to as barristers and solicitors, but tend not to act in both help you settle a matter out of court. You cannot get capacities. legal aid for divorce, or if you only want to talk to a Lawyers are required to treat all business as lawyer. The aid is subject to numerous restrictions and confidential, provide independent advice and use their may have to be paid back at a later date. Information skill for their client’s benefit. As a profession, lawyers on legal aid is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux undertake a vast range of legal work. However, as far and Community Law Centres, District Courts and other as most private citizens are concerned, they are agencies. Most lawyers will also provide guidance. generally employed to: Human rights 06 • provide advice on legal rights New Zealand is a modern democratic country in • check legal documents which human rights are protected. The Human Rights • assist with immigration applications Commission is responsible for investigating complaints • provide conveyance services for properties and about discrimination and other human rights issues. businesses It is an independent agency charged with protecting • prepare rental and lease agreements individual rights, resolving disputes and eliminating • draft wills unfair and illegal practices. The commission also • undertake divorce proceedings has the power to prosecute individuals and/or • arrange redress in cases of fraud or agencies contravening the Human Rights Act 1993. misrepresentation • provide representation in cases involving the Police. Office of the Ombudsmen In New Zealand, the Office of the Ombudsmen is an independent agency. Its main function is to assist private citizens with requests for official information, and complaints about local and central government agencies.There is no fee for making a complaint or an application to the Ombudsmen.
  8. 8. THE NEW ZEALAND POLICE Neighbourhood Support Neighbourhood Support is a community-based By international standards, New Zealand is a programme actively promoted by the Police. It remarkably safe and law-abiding society. The New encourages citizens to take standard precautions and Zealand Police do not carry firearms. They have an co-operate with their neighbours in crime prevention. excellent reputation and are generally considered These include common-sense procedures, such as helpful and friendly. Cases of police corruption are keeping properties secure, depositing large amounts exceedingly rare. The Police enforce both criminal and of cash at a bank and not holding money at home, traffic laws and undertake search and rescue missions. safely depositing and/or insuring jewellery and other They also operate a range of community programmes, valuables, keeping an eye on neighbouring properties including Youth Education and Youth Aid services. and reporting anything suspicious. It is advisable Contacting the Police always to lock windows and doors when you leave In emergencies dial 111. This is the general emergency home, and let your neighbours know if you plan to be number and operates free of charge from all private away for any length of time. It is also a good idea to and public phones. install deadlocks and leave your home looking ‘lived In non-urgent situations, contact the nearest Police in’ when you go away. Most communities have 07 Station listed under P in the Blue Pages at the front of Neighbourhood Support groups and it is best to ask The Telephone Book. about these when moving into a new home. For traffic incidents, *555 can also be dialled from a mobile phone. For all emergencies dial 111 from anywhere in New Zealand.
  9. 9. 08 “MY MOTHER’S STILL IN THE COOK ISLANDS AND MY BACKGROUND REALLY HELPS WHEN WORKING WITH T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y. ” SAM BRACKEN – C O M M U N I T Y C O N S TA B L E / Y O U T H A I D O F F I C E R .
  10. 10. YOU AND THE POLICE If the Police want to search you or your home, vehicle or property... Dealing with the Police The Police cannot conduct a search without your In New Zealand, relations with the Police are good. In consent. part, this is because the public has clear rights and obligations when dealing with the Police. The Police If the Police have a search warrant, or specific statutory may not act arbitrarily; the public is expected to act authority... responsibly. The following provides a brief outline of They must, first, tell you what this specific authority some of the rights and obligations that apply to the is – there is a range of search powers. Common cases Police and private citizens. include specific powers to: • stop a vehicle if someone in it is subject to an arrest If the Police ask you to stop... warrant or has committed an offence punishable by The rule is simple – you must stop. If you are driving, imprisonment you must stop and give your name, address and any • search the vehicle for an offender or for criminal other details needed for identification. You are required evidence to carry your driver licence at all times and will be • search premises or a vehicle for controlled drugs. asked to present it. You must also give the name and 09 details of the vehicle’s owner or hirer. If you are the If the Police want to take your fingerprints... owner or hirer, you must give the names and details They can do so only if you agree. of your passengers and the driver if other than yourself. If you are questioned by the Police, make sure that... However, once you have provided this information, • The person is a Police officer – a Police officer in it is your decision whether you answer any more plain clothes must show their identification card questions – you do not have to. You are entitled to which includes their photograph and name. talk to a lawyer before you answer, or make a written • What you say to, or write for, the Police is exactly or spoken statement. what you mean. If you have difficulties, ask for If the Police ask you to go with them... assistance and/or an interpreter. You do not have to unless you agree to do so. If you are suspected of having committed a crime, but If the Police suspect you have been driving under the have not been arrested, you can... influence of alcohol or drugs... • Choose whether or not to answer any questions, or There can be no dispute here. You must accompany make a written or verbal statement. the Police as requested. • Generally, leave the Police Station when you wish. However, if you have been detained for a blood/ alcohol test, you cannot leave until this has been completed.
  11. 11. If you are suspected of having committed a crime, and “LIFE IS SAFE AND SECURE have been arrested, you... HERE. WE CAN ENJOY THE • Have the right to consult a lawyer immediately – SIMPLE THINGS AGAIN.” there should be a list of lawyers at the Police Station. If you request advice from a lawyer included on the SOUTH AFRICAN MIGRANTS, Police Station’s list, this initial legal counsel is J A M E S A N D M A R I E FA R R E L L . provided free of charge. • Must give your name, address, occupation, and date and place of birth. • Must allow the Police to take fingerprints and photo- graphs and, in certain circumstances, conduct a search. The Police can, for example, search for criminal evidence or for weapons or objects that might facilitate an escape. However, it is generally illegal for the Police to search a person (or their car or house) for no other reason than the fact of 10 their arrest. • Can contact a friend or relative and request permission for them to visit you at the Police Station. Such requests are usually granted, but can be declined on the advice of the Police officer dealing with the investigation. • May ask to be ‘released on bail’. This means you are allowed to go home until you have to appear in court on a set date to ‘face charges’. Bail is not an automatic right. There are also usually conditions attached – such as not being allowed to leave the country. There are special rights for children and young people aged under 17 years. The Police officer must explain their rights in a way that they can clearly understand and ensure that another adult or a lawyer is present when they make a statement.
  12. 12. FIREARMS PAYING TAX In New Zealand it is illegal to have a gun for self- Inland Revenue is the government department that defence. All firearms and guns must be licensed and collects taxes – it is popularly referred to as the IRD. can be used only for lawful purposes. The New Zealand tax year is from 01 April to 31 March. Most people pay their taxes as they earn their income. Employers deduct tax on salary and wages. Banks and PROTECTION AGAINST FAMILY/ other financial institutions deduct tax on interest as it DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is derived. People who do not pay tax on all of their The New Zealand Police take family/domestic violence income as it is earned are required to file tax returns very seriously. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Violence at the end of the tax year (31 March) to work out their is unacceptable wherever it happens and no matter tax liability. In most cases, Inland Revenue will send who is the victim. The Domestic Violence Act 1995 you all the material you need to file tax returns and provides protection against physical, sexual and make payment. psychological violence. Psychological violence includes If you are thinking of going into business, see the use of intimidation, harassment, damage to Business booklet. property, threats of harm, and allowing a child to see 11 Personal and Company tax rates in New Zealand or hear abuse. New Zealand tax rates for the year April 2002 to ‘Protection orders’ are provided under the Domestic March 2003 are: Violence Act for people in ‘close personal relation- ships’. These include married and unmarried couples, Income Tax rate for Tax rate for children and relatives, and homosexual partners. individuals, companies A protection order can be obtained whether or not sole traders the Police take criminal action. Help is available from and partners in a number of agencies including the Police, Community a partnership Law Centres and Citizens Advice Bureaux. High School 0-$38,000 19.5% 33% counsellors are also available to assist and the $38,001-$60,000 33% 33% Women’s Refuge provides sanctuary for mothers and $60,001 and over 39% 33% their children. There are rebates available to individuals that reduce the tax rates if their income is under $38,000
  13. 13. 12 “THE TAXATION AND ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS HERE ARE VERY EASY TO WORK WITH – I’VE HAD NO PROBLEMS SINCE ARRIVING SEVEN YEARS AGO.” AMERICAN MIGRANT AND OFFICE MANAGER, MARY IANNUCCI.
  14. 14. Tax Residency Note: you can keep similar ties, or even a home, in other countries, but New Zealand residents are liable for income tax on still be a New Zealand resident for tax purposes. If you have an enduring their worldwide income. If you are a New Zealand tax relationship with New Zealand, you will always be a tax resident. resident, you will need to pay income tax on all income You may be a tax resident in New Zealand and another you receive from both New Zealand and overseas. country. This means you are resident in two countries If you have a taxable activity in New Zealand, you will under the tax laws of each of those countries. If both need to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST). countries tax their residents on worldwide income, You are a New Zealand resident for tax purposes if: you could be taxed twice on the same income. New Zealand has double tax agreements with many other • you are in New Zealand for more than 183 days in countries. These agreements establish which country any 12-month period. You are considered to be has the first or sole right to tax certain types of income. resident from the day you arrive in New Zealand. Inland Revenue provides expert advice on these issues. The 183 days need not be consecutive • you are overseas in the service of the New Zealand Government • you have an ‘enduring relationship’ with New 13 Zealand. To decide whether you have an enduring relationship with New Zealand, Inland Revenue considers things such as: – whether you are here for continuous periods from time to time – whether you own, lease or have access to property in New Zealand – your social ties (where your immediate family lives, if you have children being educated here, if you belong to any New Zealand associations) – your economic ties (if you have bank accounts, credit cards, life insurance, investments or superannuation funds here) – your employment (if you work here) – your personal property (if you own or keep possessions here) – whether you intend to live in New Zealand – whether you receive welfare benefits, pensions and other payments.
  15. 15. IRD numbers INCOME TAX An IRD number is a unique identifying number that you use for all your contacts with Inland Revenue PAYE (similar to a bank account number). You will need an If you earn income from salary, wages or a social security IRD number before you start a job or open a bank benefit, your tax will be deducted under the pay-as- account. Otherwise, your employer or bank will you-earn (PAYE) system. This means that the pay you deduct the ‘no declaration’ rate of tax from your salary. get from your employer has already had tax deducted. This rate is much higher than the standard deduction ACC levies rates and will significantly reduce the net income Inland Revenue is the agent for collection of the you receive. employees’ Earner Levy as part of your PAYE You can apply for a number by filling in the approp- deductions. These levies provide insurance cover when riate application form (IR 595). This form needs to be people suffer an accident outside of their work. completed and returned to Inland Revenue with identification, such as a copy of your birth certificate Provisional Tax or passport. People who operate a business as a sole trader, limited If you need to apply for IRD numbers for your liability company or other business entity have to 14 account for their own tax progressively during the children, fill in the appropriate form, which is either: year. This is referred to as provisional tax. Provisional tax is payable in three instalments during • an IRD number application -- children (IR594) if a the year, based on what you expect your tax bill to be. parent/caregiver is applying on behalf of the child The amount of Provisional Tax you pay is then • an IRD number application -- individual (IR595) if deducted from your tax bill at the end of the year. the child is applying for himself or herself. For more information, see the IRD’s Provisional Tax Send the application form to Inland Revenue, along booklet (IR 289). with a copy of the child’s birth certificate, passport or Goods and Services Tax (GST) certificate of New Zealand citizenship. GST is charged on almost all goods and services in To request these forms: Freephone: 0800 257 773 New Zealand. It is a consumer tax. The GST rate is (INFOexpress) or visit: www.ird.govt.nz 12.5% of the price of goods or services. For more information see Business.
  16. 16. Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) If you and your children are in New Zealand unlawfully You pay Resident Withholding Tax on interest you earn or hold only a temporary permit or visa, then for Family from bank accounts or other investments. The bank Assistance purposes, you are not considered a New or investing organisation deducts this when they credit Zealand resident. interest to your account. If you recently arrived in New Zealand and meet the You need to provide your IRD number and choose residence conditions, you will need to attach a copy the correct rate of tax for your income level. of your residence permit to your application for Family Companies may also deduct withholding tax from Assistance. dividends paid to shareholders. How much you can get depends on: Family Assistance • how many children 18 years or younger you have Family Assistance is financial help for low- to middle- living with you income families with children who are 18 years or • how much you and your partner earn (your total younger who are living at home and are not financially family income) independent. It is not a benefit but recognition that • where you get your income from. not everyone can comfortably afford all the costs of Inland Revenue pays Family Assistance to families bringing up a family. 15 whose main income is from working. It can be paid To be able to receive Family Assistance you must either fortnightly or as a lump sum after the end of either: the tax year (31 March). • be a New Zealand resident and have been in If your only income is from an income-tested benefit, New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months then Work and Income pay any entitlement to you as at any time. You need to be a tax resident and be part of your benefit. resident in New Zealand when you apply for your payments • be caring for a child who is both resident and living in New Zealand.
  17. 17. 16 “STUDENT LOANS ARE INTEREST FREE UNTIL YOU START WORK AND THAT’S A HELP FOR MOST STUDENTS.” TA I W A N E S E M I G R A N T A N D G R A D U AT E , DIANNE SHEE.
  18. 18. Student loans A student loan is a debt and you must: The Student Loan Scheme is available to students • pay back any money you borrow, including interest, studying at tertiary level (after secondary school). This which is currently 7%. If you decide to take helps towards the cost of studies and books. out a student loan, it is wise to borrow only the amount you need for your studies The three organisations involved in the Student Loan • start repaying your loan at the rate of 10 cents per Scheme are: dollar earned over $15,496. If you think you will earn • the Ministry of Education, which advises the Govern- more than this from your main job between 1 April ment about student loan policies 2002 and 31 March 2003, you must tell your employer • Work and Income (a service of the Ministry of Social you have a student loan and use the M SL tax code. Development), which processes loan applications and manages student loan accounts in the year the You can save money by making voluntary payments money is borrowed at any time and for any amount. You can do this even • Inland Revenue, which collects student loan repay- if you are earning under the repayment threshold, or ments from the year after the money is borrowed. you can simply make additional repayments above the amount you are required to pay. To get a student loan you need to be studying at a By paying your loan off faster you can save yourself 17 tertiary institution, and be in a programme approved a lot of money in interest. by the Minister of Education. You must also be 18 years or older (if you are under 18 years, you need a You may be eligible to have your student loan interest parent’s consent). You need to be a New Zealand for the year cancelled/written-off if: citizen, a permanent resident, or a refugee entitled to • you are a New Zealand tax resident, and live in New Zealand indefinitely. – a full-time, full-year student (that is, studying for a minimum of 32 weeks and your course is The amount you get depends on: equivalent to at least 80% of full-time study) • the type of tertiary institution you are studying at – a part-time or part-year student earning $25,378 or • how much your fees are less in the tax year 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003. • whether you are studying full or part-time • you are going overseas for more than three months • the duration of your study programme and will not be: • whether you receive a student allowance – having repayment deductions made from any of (for living costs) your income in New Zealand, and/or • whether you or your partner get a benefit. – making any interim repayments A student loan has four parts: You must let Inland Revenue know before you compulsory fees; course-related costs; living costs; leave. The IRD will need a contact address, either and a $50 administration fee. overseas or in New Zealand, so it can send you notices and statements.
  19. 19. Salary and wage earners IR3 Tax Returns Over the last few years, Inland Revenue has been You would be sent an IR3 if you: simplifying income tax for salary and wage earners • are self-employed so it is now more accurate, less time-consuming and • had income from a business or rental property simpler for everyone involved. • received income that is not taxed at source IRD wants to ensure taxpayers pay the correct tax • received overseas income. during the year so there is no need for additional payments at the end of the tax year. Child Support A Personal Tax Summary (PTS) is available for salary Child Support is money paid to support children when and wage earners if you need to pay additional tax at couples with children are not living together or have the end of the year, or believe you are entitled to a tax separated. The money is paid by the parent who is not refund. living with the children to the person whom the children The Personal Tax Summary uses information live with. provided to us by your employer(s) to preprint a PTS Inland Revenue works out the amount of child with your income and deduction details for the year. support the paying parent must pay. The amount is If you receive a PTS you must check it for any missing worked out each year using a formula, which takes 18 or incorrect details. into account the number of children to be supported Personal Tax Summaries are issued from June and the paying parent’s income and living expenses. onwards and anyone can request one. Inland Revenue usually administers Child Support payments. For further information, Freephone: 0800 221 221 or visit: www.ird.govt.nz/childsupport Contacting Inland Revenue Complete listings of Inland Revenue’s Freephone numbers and office locations are included in the Blue Pages of The Telephone Book. If you have an IRD number please have it ready when you call.
  20. 20. www.courts.govt.nz/family WEBSITES AND NEW ZEALAND FREEPHONES Family Court of New Zealand Deals with custody and other family issues. N E W Z E A L A N D I M M I G R AT I O N S E R V I C E S I T E S www.elections.org.nz Information on registering to vote. www.movetonz.govt.nz Freephone: 0800 367 656 (0800 ENROLNOW) Move To New Zealand. Information and links on doing business, working and living in www.hrc.govt.nz New Zealand. Human Rights Commission An independent agency responsible for investigating and Migrant Helpline resolving complaints about discrimination and other human rights issues. A freephone referral service that helps new migrants find Freephone: 0800 4 496 877 (0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS) the answers to questions about life in New Zealand. The service is free and aims to put migrants in touch with the INLAND REVENUE right organisations and people who are ready and waiting to help. Issues covered include: housing, health, schooling, www.ird.govt.nz ESOL courses, employment and many other everyday topics. Detailed information about tax and social policy, and online access Operates from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. to booklets, returns, forms, newsletters and public rulings, Does not deal with business inquiries. and the many other services offered. Freephone: 0508 55 88 55 (for calls outside Auckland) Calls within New Zealand 09 914 4100 (for Auckland and all mobile phone calls). Personal tax enquiries: 0800 227 774 www.immigration.govt.nz Official site of the New Zealand Immigration Service. (phone this number to get an IRD Number) 19 Comprehensive information on all aspects of New Zealand Family Assistance: 0800 227 773 immigration policy and procedures. All policy guidelines and Business tax enquiries: 0800 377 774 most application forms can be downloaded. Goods and Services Tax (GST): 0800 377 776 Student loan enquiries: 0800 377 778 GOVERNMENT SITES Child Support: 0800 221 221 www.govt.nz Automated stationery service: 0800 257 773 The official gateway to the New Zealand Government online. Calling from overseas www.acc.govt.nz Accident Compensation Corporation The numbers below include dialling codes for New Zealand, but not the Provides information on accident insurance scheme payments. international access prefix, because this varies from country to country. Freephone: 0800 101 996 All business, student loan and personal customers www.beehive.govt.nz All enquiries: +64-4-801 9973 Updates on government news and policies. Fax: +64-9-262 9011 www.justice.govt.nz Child Support Ministry of Justice (www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/other/pamphlets/2001/legal_system.html All enquiries +64-9-368-5695 has a good outline of the New Zealand legal system.) If you have an IRD number please have it ready when you call. www.courts.govt.nz www.lsa.govt.nz Department for Courts Legal Services Agency Comprehensive information on the structure of New Zealand’s courts Government-funded agency providing legal aid. and tribunals.
  21. 21. www.ltsa.govt.nz GENERAL SITES Land Transport Safety Authority Driver licensing, road rules and private vehicle imports. www.lgnz.co.nz Freephone: 0800 822 422 Local Government New Zealand For information on New Zealand’s local government and links www.ombudsmen.govt.nz to your council. For local listings refer to the ‘Government Services’ The Office of the Ombudsmen page in The Telephone Book or visit: www.whitepages.co.nz Reviews requests for official information and adjudicates disputes with local and central government agencies. Freephone: 0800 802 602 Community Law Centres Local listings in The Telephone Book or visit: www.whitepages.co.nz www.parliament.govt.nz Guide to New Zealand’s parliamentary system. Justices of the Peace Look in the Yellow Pages or visit: www.yellowpages.co.nz www.winz.govt.nz Work and Income www.consumer.org.nz Information on Family and Child Support. Freephone: 0800 559 009 Consumers’ Institute of New Zealand Up-to-date guide on consumer rights and prices of goods in New Zealand. www.ubd.co.nz POLICE A comprehensive directory, listing over 156,000 businesses, www.police.govt.nz 123,000 products and 302,000 trade suppliers. New Zealand Police Freephone: 0800 823 225 General information, including safety tips, crime statistics and www.directmoving.com Police recruiting. Specialist site providing comparative cost-of-living data on 20 Free from any phone, including cell phones: 111 in an emergency an international basis. In non-urgent situations, contact the nearest Police Station listed www.yellowpages.co.nz under P in the Blue Pages at the front of The Telephone Book. Telephone listings for New Zealand businesses. For information on traffic incidents, *555 can also be dialled from a mobile phone. www.victimsupport.org.nz Counselling support services. Please note: Freephone numbers do not accept Freephone: 0800 842 846 (0800 VICTIM) international calls. www.neighbourhoodsupport.co.nz Community-based crime prevention programmes. Citizens Advice Bureau All major towns in New Zealand have a Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). These provide free information and assistance on matters such as the law, translation services, social welfare, health, education, housing, budgeting, employment rights, consumer rights and personal and family issues. The CAB’s website also provides comprehensive and easily accessible information on these and other issues. The service is confidential and anyone can use it – you do not need to be a New Zealand citizen. Freephone: 0800 367 222 (0800 FOR CAB) Visit: www.cab.org.nz
  22. 22. Design Scenario Communications Limited, www.scenario.co.nz Principal Photographer Earp-Jones Originals, Ivor@ihug.co.nz Contributing Photographer Wreford Hann Photography Ltd, www.nzphotos.co.nz Acknowledgements The NZIS acknowledges with thanks the many parties who have contributed material for this publication. Special thanks to Venture Southland. Disclaimer The information included in this was drawn from a number of sources and was current at the time of print. Accordingly, NZIS is not able to guarantee the accuracy of that information. Copyright Text may be reproduced without permission but acknowledgement of source is required. Photographs remain copyright of the photographers. Published by the New Zealand Immigration Service – a service of the Department of Labour. ISBN 0-477-03679-1 NZIS 2006

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