Should Santa move to New Zealand?

Posted: December 21, 2010 by BlogMaster in Fun Stuff

Santa recently emailed WHK to ask if he should move his family business from the North Pole to New Zealand. After all, NewZealand is the land of the long white non-ash cloud (great for flying incognito) and small businesses, so what would he have tofear?

Various WHK tax and business advisors huddled together like elves, and came to the following conclusions….

First of all, what’s the chance of getting resource consents for his grotto and workshops any time under 10 years?  There are obviously concerns about noise from the neighbours, emissions and pollution by the greenies, and the whole idea of someone actually making a go of something by the tall poppy loppers. Santa had suggested a nice bach-come-workshop on the beach but the Foreshore and Seabed legislation has put paid to that.

Even if he managed to build the Workshop, his problems certainly wouldn’t stop there. The Department of Labour would be concerned about him employing undersized workers in an unsafe environment, whilst the Human Rights Commission would probably insist on an appropriate mix of elves from minority cultures, including without doubt some token Hobbits. And imagine if the elves found out about the Employment Relations Act or the Holidays Act – theycertainly wouldn’t be working Christmas Day without double time and a day in lieu. They would also expect protective clothing, and compulsory contributions to their Elf-Saver Super Scheme. Don’t even mention minimum wages… With all of these tantalising issues, the elves’ Australian union representative will likely get involved, and Santa’s backers may have no choice but to pull Christmas out of New Zealand. And is smacking an elf the same as smacking a small person???

Mrs Claus would be automatically entitled to one half of the workshop and his mistress the other, while the IRD would demand to see a market salary being paid to Santa. Doing Santa-like things for free is quite clearly tax avoidance!!  And let’s not even go near FBT on private use of the sleigh, or toys for own use.

Given our Bio-Security rules, the Reindeer would have to go through quarantine, and probably would be unavailable for at least 13 months. Even then, there would need to be measures taken so they can’t breed in the off-season (sorry, Rudolph!!).

Before he could take off, OSH would demand guide rails and a roll cage on the sleigh, Kyoto would require carbon neutrality of the reindeer (9 corks please), the SPCA would want to prohibit the gentle whipping of Donner and Blitzen, and the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs would decree that Ho Ho Ho was demeaning.  Although,one has to ask whether the alternatives of “He He He” or “Haw Haw Haw” are any more appropriate?

Further, the Privacy Commissioner would preclude the compilation of lists of good and bad children, and the Human Rights Commissioner would stipulate that Santa can’t discriminate against the bad ones.  That’s of course assuming that Wikileaks hadn’t released the ‘nice and naughty’ list early and ruined the surprise. Finally, the Commerce Commission would likely prosecute him for misrepresentation, as most of his toys have “made in China” on the label, when quite clearly they would be made in his NZ workshop.

Even when he did finally take off, some homeowners would demand landing fees, insurance companies would sue for damage to roofs, and indigenous New Zealanders would claim ancestral airspace usage royalties.  He couldn’t go over 100km per hour because of all the unmarked cop cars out there (it’s not revenue gathering!).  This is not even considering Santa’s exposure to prosecution for DIC (from all that beer and cookies) and B&E. We can only hope he doesn’t get tasered.

Once he landed at the end of a long night, he would be faced with endless litigation, fines and penalties relating to all of the above issues, and not least an assessment by the IRD for gift duty at 25% on the entire world’s Christmas presents he has delivered before October 2011.

So WHK’s considered advice…

Dear Santa,Perhaps you should continue to visit NewZealand only once a year.

Merry Christmas!!



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