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Thread: Tax changes may keep All Blacks in New Zealand: Dowd

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    Tax changes may keep All Blacks in New Zealand: Dowd

    29 Aug, 2018
    Craig Dowd


    Before people start jumping all over All Blacks coach Steve Hansen for raising an issue with New Zealand's Minister of Finance Grant Robertson in the Eden Park changing sheds on Saturday, they should think a little more seriously than it being a case of the Government giving the All Blacks a taxpayer-funded handout.

    It doesn't have to be that way at all, and I am sure that was not what Hansen meant. I don't endorse the Government giving any money at all to the All Blacks, either.

    But consider this.

    The All Blacks -- and all professional sports people in New Zealand; cricketers, netballers, rugby league players alike -- pay tax at 33 cents in the dollar.

    Professional sports people have a very short time at their peak. Some athletes may play their chosen sport for 10 years, which is the exception rather than the rule, while others may play two or three months, break their ankle and, just like that, their career can be over.

    Why should they pay tax at 33 percent? Why not the lower tax bracket of 17.5 percent? As an example, the likes of All Blacks captain Kieran Read would pay the equivalent of 20 ordinary workers' tax if he was on the lower bracket but he would earn more money as an inducement to continue his career in New Zealand.

    With that sort of approach we would keep our special players in New Zealand. It is not about how much money you are making, but how much money you are keeping.

    Professional athletes need to be put into a special tax bracket; it would be recognition of the fact that the sort of money they earn during that period is going to be for only a very short period of time. They wouldn't be getting an easy ride, they would still be paying tax. And if they were earning $200,000 they would still be contributing around $33,000 in tax.

    Sportspeople would still be contributing the equivalent of two average workers' tax.

    Governments have been prepared to make concessions to Hollywood film companies to film here, so why don't we look after our own home grown products?

    No-one loses. The Government isn't going to pay any money but we are giving players an incentive to stay in New Zealand. If you applied that for all professional sportspeople, you are taking about a very small number of people. We are not talking about huge amounts of money, we are talking of a significant incentive.

    What you are doing is giving the public what they want, which is having their athletes staying to play in New Zealand when they are in their prime.

    We are not talking about people who are going to have long careers as doctors and a lifetime of big salaries. We are talking about people whose one chance at a career could be over on the end of a tackle. As soon as they are back in the non-sporting workforce, then they would pay what everyone else does.

    I can't believe anyone would want to argue with that. We are going to be faced with the very real situation after the Rugby World Cup when Beauden Barrett could be offered an extraordinary amount of money by an overseas club. He will only be 28 years of age; is it wrong to want him to continue playing on home soil? NZ is a small country and we need to find financial solutions, could a change in taxation for our professional sportsmen help?

    Not wanting to put a dampener on the mood of the nation in the wake of the back-to-back Bledisloe Cup triumphs, which were fantastic, but I would remind New Zealanders that the All Blacks are always the best team in the world one year out from the World Cup.

    The call was made this time last week that Michael Cheika and his support staff must be replaced. Nothing has changed. It has actually become far more urgent, writes Greg Growden.

    That has been the case for the past 25 years so people need to come back to Earth and remember that. They should also recall some of the disappointments that have occurred when expectations were so high in the past.

    Given what we have seen over the last fortnight, the whole Beauden Barrett-Richie Mo'unga debate feels like it was happening months ago. It seems like ancient history. Barrett certainly had the last word; he wasn't putting a full stop at the end of it, two brilliant performances ensured he signed off with an exclamation mark!

    Take nothing away from Mo'unga, he is a fantastic player. But as Hansen said, his time will come.

    At the same time, Hansen has conducted himself brilliantly this week. If anyone wants to question his selection, strategy or what he's doing ahead of the World Cup, it would almost be an act of treason. He's just been 100 percent on the money with his selection and rightfully backing the likes of Beauden Barrett. He knows how good Barrett is and even says he hasn't reached his full potential yet which is freakish.

    It's a question of where to now for the Wallabies, and for the whole Championship, really, with South Africa also losing. We were looking at this Championship as being the tightest yet, where the All Blacks were finally going to get some competition but now it looks like the All Blacks are going to run away with it.

    When you get injuries to the likes of Ryan Crotty and you put Ngani Laumape in there; you've good Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown, and countless others lining up behind them in the background, the wealth of talent that New Zealand has probably should send shudders around the rest of the rugby world.

    While all that is going on, what New Zealanders are seeing is our national championship being played: the Mitre 10 Cup. It is the next level of players starting to come through.

    When you look at all the other countries and wonder why the All Blacks are so good, all you have to do is look at the Mitre 10 Cup. It is the underlying, fundamental development level of our game. It used to be club rugby but now the Mitre 10 Cup is our development pathway.

    It is something Australia has missed and tried to rekindle, through its National Rugby Championship, way too late. The wealth, and number, of players compared to what Australia have is crucial. Rugby is clearly the fourth-ranked football code.

    I don't think rugby in Australia has gone backwards in the last couple of weeks, it's just the All Blacks have been so dominant. Again, it shows there is still a bit of a gap between the All Blacks and the rest of the world.

    http://www.espn.com.au/rugby/story/_...raig-dowd-says

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    For mine, this is a clear indication as to how far head and forward thinking the kiwi's are about rugby talent drain. They have no more $$ than we do and their players would be in higher demand, just watch as the rest of the world follows their lead after they secure another couple of world cups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    For mine, this is a clear indication as to how far head and forward thinking the kiwi's are about rugby talent drain. They have no more $$ than we do and their players would be in higher demand, just watch as the rest of the world follows their lead after they secure another couple of world cups.

    It was adopted originally by the Irish. They claimed a tax rebate upon retirement as long as they retired in Ireland. That has now changed as you can retire abroad (like O'Connell did at Toulon). The change was brought in as ageing players were staying on to collect their rebates which held back young players (some of those players went abroad to get more games).

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    One wonders what sort of reaction we would be seeing from New Zealand if they had AFL, NRL and soccer aggressively attacking their heartlands? The more I look at it, we really have a precarious situation here in Australia, which is why I would like us to look at the way the Irish have handled themselves, having to compete with hurling, Gaelic football and soccer in such a small population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    One wonders what sort of reaction we would be seeing from New Zealand if they had AFL, NRL and soccer aggressively attacking their heartlands? The more I look at it, we really have a precarious situation here in Australia, which is why I would like us to look at the way the Irish have handled themselves, having to compete with hurling, Gaelic football and soccer in such a small population.
    Football have more juniors than Rugby in NZ. The Rugby juniors are not that far ahead over Australia's.

    As they have addressed their issues in the past so they won't be sitting on their hands like the RA.

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    That's close, but not the exact same situation.

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    Last edited by chibi; 30-08-18 at 16:51.


    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    It is not even particularly close. They have a fifth of the population, so ignoring the usual BS about 'participation' and only taking a fifth of the number involved in club footy, imagine if NZ also had 150,000 of their population playing Aussie rules with more professional opportunities and higher salaries on offer. You'd have to think that would have a significant effect on all levels of NZ rugby, as much as it still doesn't excuse for how RA has played their hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    It is not even particularly close. They have a fifth of the population, so ignoring the usual BS about 'participation' and only taking a fifth of the number involved in club footy, imagine if NZ also had 150,000 of their population playing Aussie rules with more professional opportunities and higher salaries on offer. You'd have to think that would have a significant effect on all levels of NZ rugby, as much as it still doesn't excuse for how RA has played their hand.
    I don't pay much attention to population as Rugby up until 2006 was only traditionally strong in NSW, Qld and the ACT with large portions of those areas not having much access to Rugby at all particularly North Queensland and mid north coast of NSW. New England despite access to two universities and strong schools have very low club numbers. Than you have schools eating in to club numbers between 13-18.

    40% of the NRL is eligible for the Kiwis and there a lot of them in the Super League.

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    It is not even particularly close.
    I was trying to be diplomatic

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    I don't pay much attention to population as Rugby up until 2006 was only traditionally strong in NSW, Qld and the ACT with large portions of those areas not having much access to Rugby at all particularly North Queensland and mid north coast of NSW. New England despite access to two universities and strong schools have very low club numbers. Than you have schools eating in to club numbers between 13-18.

    40% of the NRL is eligible for the Kiwis and there a lot of them in the Super League.
    I'm not quite sure what that has to do with anything, other than to confirm what a shit job the ARU has done for 100+ years. There isn't that much difference between the points at which both sports were amateur, essentially penniless, and very localised. Aussie rules was only really strong in Victoria, WA and SA, so on a population basis they would have started about even and rugby probably would have started ahead on revenue potential. Look at them now.

    But Chibi's point was that NZ never had that contest for rugby to fight or lose. If they had - if NZ had started split down the middle with the North Island playing rugby and the South playing Aussie rules - does anyone seriously think it wouldn't have affected where they might be now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    I'm not quite sure what that has to do with anything, other than to confirm what a shit job the ARU has done for 100+ years. There isn't that much difference between the points at which both sports were amateur, essentially penniless, and very localised. Aussie rules was only really strong in Victoria, WA and SA, so on a population basis they would have started about even and rugby probably would have started ahead on revenue potential. Look at them now.

    But Chibi's point was that NZ never had that contest for rugby to fight or lose. If they had - if NZ had started split down the middle with the North Island playing rugby and the South playing Aussie rules - does anyone seriously think it wouldn't have affected where they might be now?
    It was in response to your comment that didn't have much to do about anything.

    As for the question about the South Island not a lot at all. There is enough talent in the North Island so a lot go to the Crusaders and Highlanders to get games or escape the Blues. Otago University attracts a lot of students from the North Island so end up in the Rugby system there.

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    No, they might okay if they could keep all the current advantages of never having competed with another well organised code (which soccer isn't). But if they had only ever had half the players, half the NPC teams, half the competition for spots and an organised AFL getting the jump on them with professionalisation, more opportunities, more money and an aggressive growth strategy, I bet they'd be hurting too. Can't believe they'd be in as big a mess as Australian rugby, but I seriously doubt they'd be the All Blacks either.

    The mind boggles at the idea of those South Island boys playing AFL...imagine the midfielder Carter would have made!

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    It is all pointless discussing hypotheticals and about what may or not happen with NZetc. All CEOs of the RA had to deal with competing sports. Rugby just got on with it until Pulver threw in the towel.

    Years ago on G&G I read on the Sydney Junior Rugby thread that certain individuals didn't want Junior club Rugby played on a Saturday rather than Sunday as it is now. Shasta, Exile and myself would testify Junior league in NSW is played on a Sunday so kids are having to choose at an early age. As a result Rugby clubs are struggling to field youth grades.

    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/com....13716/page-59 Comments on this page were made four years ago and are still relevant today. Some beauties there too.

    I don't like kids having to choose at an early age due to not being able to make matches. I want kids to be able to play as much sport as they can before their studies takeover. All local competitions need to work together so there are no games clashing.

    Today Dan Herbert did an interview on Foxsports pushing for centralisation. I don't know if someone forgot to tell Dan that centralisation was used to get rid of the Force. We have got to stop burying our own and it is also happening in Junior Rugby.

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    Last edited by Bakkies; 30-08-18 at 22:20.

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