Alf is bemused by the case of the patent lawyer who pulled the race card to avoid a hefty tax bill.
He told the High Court at Auckland his Maori descent meant he was not obliged to pay $10.3 million in unpaid taxes.
He presented no evidence of his whakapapa.
But proof was immaterial. The Maori-blood defence should fail, even for citizens who can furnish proof of their Maori blood.
The bloke who tried to pull the whakapapa stunt in the case brought by the IRD is one John David Hardie.
He was appealing against a decision handed down in Waitakere District Court in March last year in favour of the commissioner of Inland Revenue.
According to the report at Stuff,the district court granted judgment by default involving tax of $9.66m and GST of $675,858.81 for a 13-year period up to 2005.
These were default – or estimated – assessments made after Hardie failed to file tax and GST returns.
In his judgment on March 19, Justice Lynton Stevens said Hardie had argued he was not required to make tax contributions because he was of Maori descent. No provision was made in the Treaty of Waitangi for him to do so.
In his appeal, Hardie said the district court judge, PJ Recordon, was wrong not to uphold his submission based on Maori descent.
If this Hardie-ha-ha bloke looked real hard, he would find the treaty does not provide for Alf to pay taxes, either. Or anyone.
The commissioner argued Parliament had the right to enact legislation imposing taxes and it applied to everyone in New Zealand.
It was also noted that Hardie had not provided evidence of his whakapapa establishing his Maori descent.
That’s where Alf became a tad riled.
Why do some buggers pull the race card to have themselves exempted from the reach of the law?
Fair to say, the judge was far from impressed with this whakapapa pap.
Justice Stevens said the submission was legally flawed.
“The appellant put forward no authority binding on this court to support his extraordinary submission.
“The district court judge was quite correct when he concluded that the courts have never accepted arguments that statutes passed by Parliament are not applicable to persons of Maori descent. This is particularly so in the case of obligations to pay tax.”
Justice Stevens said there was no dispute that Hardie had not filed tax returns. He had also failed to exercise his right to challenge the estimated assessments.
Because he had failed to voluntarily file tax returns, Hardie had left himself open to default assessments being made.
Full stop. End story.
Or so it should be.
But Hardie seems determined to persist with his claims.
Hardie did not wish to comment on the judgment.
“I don’t believe that that judgment should have been released. It’s certainly going to the Court of Appeal, that’s for sure.”
Questioned on the whakapapa matter and asked about his Maori descent, Hardie said he was connected to Te Arawa tribe.
But when it comes to paying your taxes: so what?