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Auckland Council’s tax sidestep, Fonterra’s relief spreads, the Bo Xilai show ‘flop’ and US millionaire’s mortgagee sale

Auckland Council is using corporate structures to minimise tax.

Ports of Auckland’s accounts for the year, released today and reported in the National Business Review print edition, reveal the council-controlled organisation is using $37 million of losses across the Auckland Council group – to minimise tax.

Meanwhile, business editor Duncan Bridgeman reports how some of the biggest winners from Fonterra’s botulism food safety false alarm are Australian investors.

Shoeshine questions Fonterra’s priorities – in seemingly placing its spin on the botulism scare over seeking a trading halt of its shares. And he ponders, is Diligent Board Member Services about to jump from the NZX.

There’s a triple-treat for China watchers in today's newspaper.

Frank Ching and Nathan Smith pick apart the Bo Xilai corruption trial – why the carefully staged show was a “flop”, what it says about the Chinese judicial system and the nuanced reasons behind the Communist Party’s anti-corruption drive.

In Economically Speaking, Neville Bennett draws comparisons between the Chinese economy, with its predilection for shadow banking, and the over-heated Japanese bubble of 1989.

In NBR Property, Chris Hutching details the mortgagee sale of a six-bedroom mansion in the Wairarapa – and how its American millionaire owner is thought to have visited only once.

NZ Retail Property Group, which is considering raising capital to fund the expansion of Auckland’s Westgate town centre, responds to speculation it could seek a NZX listing later this year.

Political editor Rob Hosking boils down the Labour leadership fight – to the star, the affable apparatchik and the wild card.

EY's David Haywood traverses the OECD’s repeated calls for a capital gains tax to be implemented in New Zealand, raising an estimated $2 billion, and another way the government might raise that amount.

All that and more, in today’s National Business Review print edition. Out now.

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Comments and questions

I welcome the idea that the council and the entities it owns is seeking to pay as little tax as possible. That is positive for my rates.

If council is not a charity, despite working extremely hard for its community (or against its community, depending on ones point of view), how can certain large charities receive tax breaks when their funds are not being returned to the community.