Category Archives: Investing

Mike McDonald Gets 4 Years

So it wasn’t 6 years as previously indicated to me, it is in fact 4 years in jail (Mt Eden Correctional Facility) that he has been sentenced to.

So apparently he will be eligible for parole in 1/3 of that, with time served counting.

Here’s a link to the Herald article about it:

This is what he did:

McDonald had been a registered tax agent since 2002. Between 2007 and 2013, he failed to pay client tax money to Inland Revenue, and filed about 250 false GST and income tax returns either to get money from IRD or to keep client funds. McDonald also made false entries in one client’s financial statements to conceal his offending.

Good Article on Earthquake Prone Buildings

Ann Brower: Earthquake risk? Fix the parapets first



Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter
Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter

On February 22, 2011, I was riding a bus up Colombo Street in Christchurch, when a parapet and façade collapsed onto us. Only I survived. And I was far from unscathed.

During that Christchurch earthquake,16 people were killed on that one block of Colombo Street – and New Zealand is full of places just like Colombo Street – with masonry facades, parapets, and gables.


I agree with pretty much everything she says.  And so does everyone else in the seismic area it seems.  Just gotta get the politicians on board.

First Home Buyer Plops Down $920,000 for House in Melbourne

How on earth does a first home buyer, described as a student, buy a house for $920,000???

But it was a management student from mainland China who sealed the deal with a final bid, entering the race just minutes from the finish line.

So just another story about a mainland Chinese person winning an auction?

Well yes, but the really interesting thing was what he said, in the video, which (in Chinese) were words to the effect that he’d expected to pay over $1 million.

So, this kinda highlights how in fact, auctions can achieve lower prices than otherwise possible.  Something the likes of Neil Jenman et al keep saying.

Big Government?

I’m no fan of big government but I do agree with this article:

Robert Reich: Big government isn’t the problem

The former secretary of labor on our newest spending bill — and why it’s everything that’s wrong with Washington

Topics:, Big government, Dodd-Frank, Big Pharma, Capitalism, Business News, Politics News

Robert Reich: Big government isn't the problemRobert Reich
This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.

Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago.

It’s not especially large by historic standards. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn’t rise as a percent of the total economy. In fact, if the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year.

The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who’s stuck with the tab.

For example, it repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to stop Wall Street from using other peoples’ money to support its gambling addiction, as the Street did before the near-meltdown of 2008.

How Chinese Move Their Money

This post in the Australian Financial Review goes into some detail on how Chinese citizens have been illegally moving money out of China and into Australian property (mainly housing) assets.


Houses bought in Sydney

It’s also a fair bet that more than $1.2 million of Su’s money found its way to Australia.

The court documents hint at this. They show that the younger Su, who is thought to have studied in Australia, was paid nearly $2 million by another company associated with his father. Court documents show the younger Su was on the payroll of a trading company even though he never participated in a management meeting or had any involvement with the business.

The transcript is silent on whether this money ever came to Australia, but there’s no indication the younger Su or Qian felt ­insecure in recent years as Xi’s corruption campaign continued to arrest ever higher ranking officials.

Despite his father being officially placed under investigation in July 2011, the couple have made no attempt to disguise their ­activities.

And nor do they appear to have been short of cash.

In April last year they paid $1.35 million for a house in Killara, which has remained empty since and is now slated for ­demolition and a $500,000 rebuild.

Property records show the couple settled on this house before selling a townhouse in Breakfast Point for $2.5 million. They are also linked to a $550,000 apartment in Rhodes, which is the registered address for a company they established, and another apartment in Wolli Creek, which they appear to have bought off the plan in ­October 2010 for $400,000.

And so the question of course is, “Is this happening in NZ too?”  And I reckon it is.

Which of course raises other questions such as “What is going to be done about this, if anything?” and “Is the money train going to stop – leading to lower property values in NZ?”

I’d really be interested in readers comments on this.

Mike McDonald and Melissa McDonald – Fur Baby

Mike McDonald, formerly of McDonald & Co. Accountants still owes me a lot of money.  Over $35,000 in fact.  This is for unpaid rent, outgoings etc. for premises he leased for 6 years but vacated 2 years in.

I’m in the process of bankrupting him.

He has been under investigation for misappropriating his clients funds.   The IRD have also been looking into his affairs as there are allegations that he has misappropriated funds to be used to pay taxes on his clients behalf.

I see his wife, Melissa McDonald has started a home based online business called Fur Baby.  The website lists pet related products for sale.  The link is also have a FaceBook

I’d be very careful in dealing with either of these two people.  Melissa McDonald is not Mike McDonald, but she is his wife, so very close in other words.

So I’m not saying anyone would lose any money or anything via Melissa McDonald or Fur Baby, but I myself would choose a different pet products supplier.  I wouldn’t want to associate with anyone who is married to a person who owes money all over town and has refused to repay it.

Melissa sounds like someone who genuinely loves animals.  She’s even volunteered at the SPCA as I have.  I’m a supporter of a couple of animal charities in fact.  Pity she’s married to a guy who does the things he does.

I have judgement against Mike McDonald in the Disputes Tribunal and this will be enforced shortly.

Some Common Sense Articles on Earthquake Risk from Buildings

The government (via the now disgraced Maurice Williamson) totally over reacted with the law they’re putting into place which will require owners of older buildings to spend billions upgrading their buildings for negligible benefit.

The Herald has some good articles outlining the senselessness of this approach.




Even the experts like GNS Science and the engineering institutions say the risk in Auckland is basically zero:

Auckland Council’s submission included a report from GNS Science, which described the risk of death from an earthquake in the city as negligible. It said the estimated number of deaths was also virtually the same whether or not the city’s supposedly earthquake-prone buildings were strengthened to the 34 per cent standard. To put the risk in perspective, the council added that in the 10,000 year period between major earthquakes, the city could expect to deal with four Japan-sized tsunamis, 10 volcanic eruptions and thousands of floods.

GNS’ own submission said the blanket standard grossly underestimated the real ability of buildings to survive an earthquake. It pointed out that nearly all the older (pre-1976) buildings left standing after the Christchurch earthquakes would have failed the 34 per cent test.

GNS also argued that despite the allowance for local seismic risk, the scales were still weighted against low risk areas because of an earlier change in the earthquake design standard, which effectively meant Auckland had to be ready for a 1-in-1000 year earthquake, compared to 1-in-500 years for Wellington. The cost difference was minor for new buildings, which the standard was intended for, but became excessive for an owner trying to retrofit an old building.

Oh well, hopefully some of the people in charge of this will see that the law is indeed an ass.

$2 million to Put Together a Syndicate

If you’ve got rocks in your head you may be considering the offer on the Telecom (soon to be Spark) building in Auckland.

You don’t have to look very hard to see who is making the real money on deals like this:


Augusta launches a king sized syndicate with princely fees to match

Posted in Property July 31, 2014 – 05:24pm, Greg Ninness

The Telecom building being syndicated by Augusta

NZX-listed Augusta Capital (though its subsidiary Augusta Funds Management) has launched its latest property syndicate and it’s a whopper.

Augusta is seeking to raise $39 million from investors to put together a syndicate which will acquire one of the three buildings that form Telecom’s head office complex on Victoria St in Auckland’s CBD.

Augusta Funds Management will receive an eye watering $2.02 million as an offeror’s fee for setting up the scheme.