Stewart & Co Blog

Budget 2018 - Foundations for the Future


As anticipated, there were no big surprises in this year's budget with the main winners being:



The biggest winner in this year's budget is the health sector. 

A $3.2 billion increase in operating funding over the next 4 years and $850 million in new capital spending.  This includes $2.2 billion over the next 4 years to go to District Health Boards so that they can maintain standards of care, mental health services and support of New Zealanders. 

Community mid-wives, elective surgery and the national bowl screening programme are all set to get extra funding. 

Free GP visits have been extended to include 13-year olds and under.  

Community Services Card holders should also see a decrease in GP visit costs of $20 to $30. 



The education sector will receive some $1.6 billion to be spent on 1,500 extra teachers and 200 new classrooms. 

Learning support will receive an additional $133.5 million over the next 4 years to go towards speech language therapists and psychologists.  As well as $30.4 million over 4 years for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Early Childhood education is to receive $590.2 million over the next 4 years. 



6,400 extra state houses are to be built by 2022.

$170 million is also earmarked for emergency housing. 

$142 million of funding is to go to low income families in insulation subsidies. 



920 more police officers and 240 support staff to be funded with nearly $300 million of new spending. 

$200 million is to go towards building pop-up jail cells by the end of 2019, to be able to hold an additional 600 inmates. 



DOC is to receive $181.6 million in funding over four years, the largest boost to its funding since 2002. 

$100 million Green Investment fund to be set up to stimulate investment from the private sector into low-emission projects. 



Other Points

The Government have confirmed their commitment to the ring-fencing of tax losses on rental properties.  This will have a significant impact on many property investors.

No fundamental changes have been made to tax rates. 

An additional $31 million is to go to the IRD to ensure that company tax returns are filed to combat tax avoidance, resulting in an estimated $183 million in additional taxes collected over four years.

Pink For A Day


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Stewart & Co are once again going Pink for a Day to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.  Breast Cancer Foundation NZ are a not-for profit charitable trust with a vision of zero deaths from breast cancer.  Their mission is to push for new frontiers in early detection, treatment and support for those with breast cancer.

1 in 9 New Zealand women are affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.  Each day 8 New Zealand women on average are diagnosed with breast cancer.  But this isn't just something that affects women, 25 men a year are also diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand.  Almost everyone you talk to will have a story of someone they know having gone through treatment at some point in their lives.

So, on 16 October 2017 the team at Stewart & Co are going Pink for a Day to show our support and help raise much needed funds for this great charity.  We have set up a donations page with the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ so if you would like to make a donation please click on the link below.   100% of the funds raised go straight to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Plus, remember to print out your receipt for any donations over $5 and you can claim a tax credit back at the end of the year. 

Telephone Scam Warning

Warnings - Telephone Scam Targeting Widows & Widowers


We have been made aware recently of a telephone scam which is targeting widows and widowers.  The scammers are going through obituaries and then targeting victims when they are at their most vulnerable.  The stories we have heard have all been very similar and we urge our clients to keep themselves safe as well as ensuring their friends and family are aware of this scam.

 The scammers will telephone a relative of the deceased and tell them that they are from a Government agency and that it has come to their attention that the deceased had a large debt owing to them which the agency is there to help recover.  This call will often come at a time when family are trying to sort through financial records and put affairs in order and may sound quite plausible.  The scammers have very good spoken English however, the background noise makes it clear that they are calling from a call centre. 

 The scammer will detail the debt outstanding and eventually come around to the need to pay a debt collection fee.  They will then ask you to put through a payment to them and may ask that you allow them remote access to your computer using a program called TeamViewer.  They will then ask you to log into your online banking and allow them to put through a payment to a New Zealand bank account.  The initial payment may seem quite reasonable. They may also request that a payment be made via transfer using an agency such as Western Union for Money Gram. 

 Once this first payment is made, the scammers will then call back on a regular basis and request further payments due to increased recovery costs.  If the person being scammed starts to sound unsure, they become more aggressive in their approach. 

 Of particular note is that some people will actually receive money into their account from the scammers as an initial repayment of the debt.   This is obviously very encouraging and therefore the person will make more payments to the scammer to be able to recover the remainder of the debt.  Unfortunately, it is most likely that those funds will have come from another person being scammed who thinks they are paying a debt recovery fee.  The scammers will use previous victim's bank accounts to keep the scam going as long as possible. 

 If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, contact the police immediately.  The Police have a special team set up to work with victims of scams of this nature.  They also have officers available who can talk with people who are not yet ready to believe they are being scammed and help them to understand. 

 If you receive a call that you think sounds too good to be true or which may be suspect, hang up and call us with the details.  We can check many details for you and let you know whether the information sounds legitimate or not. 

 Scammers prey on people when they are most vulnerable and usually leave them feeling foolish and afraid to speak out.  Awareness of their methods is the best way to help those around you avoid being tricked out of their hard earned money. 


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