NASA has released an amazing new satellite picture of New Zealand. Perfect for your desktop wallpaper!
Click the image to view a larger version:
The Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) can be a high-yielding UK-pension investment system capable of tax savings and excellent returns if managed properly. Between 2006 when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) OK’d the pension programs and April/May of 2012 Guernsey was consistently either the most popular destination for QROPS or among the top three. Particularly in the later years preceding 2012, Guernsey had pulled well ahead of the Oceania states as the premier QROPS destination for British expats. As things were, it looked to hold that crown for the foreseeable future. However, that was before the HMRC implemented Statute Instrument 1221 (SI 1221), which shattered the Guernsey QROPS apparatus as it was.
SI 1221, which went into force on May 23, 2012, was intended to thwart tax avoidance. Its chief provision prohibited patronage of any investment scheme favoring preferential tax benefits for non-resident investors. The day SI 1221 took effect more than 99% (310 of 313) of Guernsey’s QROPS programs were cut from the HMRC’s list of registered providers, effectively ending further QROPS traffic.
The good news for those with Guernsey QROPS in place is that their scheme will remain unaffected by the legislation. Otherwise, the future of Guernsey’s QROPS viability is in something of a limbo. In their favor, Guernsey is a long-established centre for pension investment. They already have a sturdy base of QROPS investors grandfathered in to the older system and Deputy Gavin St Pier of Guernsey’s Treasury department (along with other lawmakers) has (and have) scrambled to amend the tax statutes as to provide the same benefits to residents and non-residents alike; obviously to (re)align their policy with the HMRC’s new guidelines. (Ironically, Guernsey’s S157E regime, established in March 2012, was passed to ensure preferential tax treatment wasn’t given to off-island investors so as to conform with HMRC’s tax guidelines. S157E was mentioned specifically in SI 1221’s clampdown on Guernesy.)
Guernsey is close, familiar and comfortable for many expats, has hundreds of men and women who specialise in QROPS and do it for a living. Furthermore, the government has a huge incentive to retain, maintain and expand an attractive QROPS marketplace as so much of their economy relies on British pension investment. How Guernsey will emerge from the shakeup remains to be seen. The suggestion that they’re down but not out is a reasonable one.
Mario Vitanelli is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in international politics and finance. His areas of expertise include Asian, South American and European expatriate economic policy and QROPS. When away from his keyboard, he enjoys photography and appreciates the rest of the Vitanelli family’s endless patience with his football dependence.
The folks over at Mr and Mrs Smith are offering up the chance to win an awesome trip to New Zealand and Fiji.
Here are the prize details:
ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: Winner will receive a 3 night stay at Dolphin Island; a 3-night stay at Hotel DeBrett and two (2) roundtrip air tickets in Premium Economy Class from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu or Vancouver. Total Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the Grand Prize is $26,000USD. Actual value may vary based on hotel costs. Winner will not receive difference between actual and approximate retail value. Winner must complete hotel stay by September 30 2013.
Start with an idyllic three night stay at Dolphin Island - sister property to world renowned Huka Lodge – an exclusive-hire getaway in the serene Fijian waters. The pristine, private isle boasts just four stunning guest bures, a romantic sleep-under-the-stars bure and 14 acres of white sand, tropical flowers and clear waters.
Continue the adventure and check-in to the stunning Hotel DeBrett for three nights in the heart of Auckland. With a seductive bar and fashion-filled hallways, the art deco beauty is a show-stopper. From your doorstep, take in everything the city has to offer from cutting-edge designers to contemporary cuisine.
Sounds like a crazy awesome prize and a great way to explore two jewels of the Pacific.
The sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec), who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence at the time of entry.
You have to enter quickly – this contest ends tomorrow!
Tourism New Zealand has released a great new short film on the filming of the Hobbit. It’s included with the DVD release of the movie but you can also watch it here.
Check it out below:
New Zealand offers some of the greatest variety of fishing opportunities in the world. Some anglers choose to pursue salt-water species using fly fishing tackle. While this type of fishing is not unique to New Zealand, the islands offer some of the best opportunities for anglers.
Where to Fish
Many of the coastal waters of New Zealand offer saltwater fly-fishing opportunities. The Bay of Islands off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island is noted for this type of fishing although it is just one of many regions. Outfitters provide boats and guide services along with fishing tackle designed to provide the ultimate saltwater fly-fishing adventure.
Anglers are encouraged to do their research and know the area and the best seasons for fishing any particular water. In addition, fly fishermen should know how to handle the equipment properly and be able to cast accurately in order to improve their fishing experience.
The fish species are varied depending on the region and the season. Saltwater fly anglers can pursue salmon near the mouths of streams as they return from the ocean and migrate into the streams. Other options include the yellowtail kingfish often taken on flies in the flats or expanses of shallow water. Some of the more adventurous anglers may go in pursuit of predatory fish like sharks with a fly rod and lures. In New Zealand, the angler’s imagination is about the only limitation to the fly fishing opportunities in the saltwater oceans.
The fishing tackle used by the saltwater fly anger depends on the target species. Smaller fish obviously warrant lighter tackle while bigger game requires the heavier tackle. An angler pursuing the salmon in saltwater would likely use the same type of tackle as an angler pursuing salmon and trout in a freshwater stream. If the larger saltwater species are your target utilize a longer and heavier fly rod equipped with stronger line and heavier tackle.
The heavier tackle is also more humane for fish that are caught and released. The heavy rods allow the fish to be brought to the boat or angler quicker with less fatigue improving the fish’s chance of recovery when it is released. Many of the outfitters and guides in New Zealand specialize in maintaining a sustainable fishing resource for generations to come.
Mixing it Up
While saltwater fly fishing offers some great opportunities for sport, many anglers choose to mix it with some other forms of fishing. Many of the same outfitters can provide other types of fishing adventures. A morning of pursuing saltwater salmon with a fly rod can be followed by an afternoon of jigging for kingfish or snappers or even trolling for billfish. Saltwater fly fishing becomes just another opportunity for the angler in New Zealand to find enjoyment.
Air New Zealand has partnered with adventurer Bear Ghylls in their latest safety video are offering up a chance to you to win a trip for two to New Zealand.
Here are the prize details:
If you win, we’ll fly you and a friend to New Zealand from anywhere in the world for 10 thrill-packed days. Then you’ll set off with a guide to do your choice of 6 adventures* on The Great Kiwi Bucket List with all travel, accommodation, food and adventure equipment provided. And we’ll even send you home with a video of you enjoying all your adventures!
Sounds like a great trip!
This sweepstakes is open to residents of any country that Air New Zealand flies from.
You have until March 10th, 2013 to enter – so enter soon!
Bear Grylls goes wild in our Bear essentials of safety video. He even spots a giant creature thought to be extinct! Watch & be in to WIN the Great Kiwi Bucket List at airnzsafety.com
This epic prize could see you and a friend flying in comfort on Air New Zealand from anywhere in the world to the greatest adventure playground on earth, New Zealand. Click the web address above to enter.