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Issue Four | Twenty Nineteen

MAGAZINE


INTRODUCTION:

NIGEL SMITH Founder - Covisory Group

Welcome to our latest Covisory Connect. With 2019 rolling around to a close, many of you will be looking forward to a welcome break and a chance to recharge the batteries for the coming year. 2019 has been a real mixed bag business wise with its highs and lows. It has seen low business confidence, a very cool and often negative housing market, and a world where investment returns were just volatile at best. With the Reserve Bank surprising markets in August by cutting its rate by 50 basis points has meant we are seeing Bond and Term Deposit interest rates at some of the lowest levels we can ever remember. So, what are the expectations for New Zealand economy given that 2020 will have an election in the latter half of the year. The Reserve Bank is suggesting that the economy is nearing a turning point. But typically, in election years business growth is slowed as business owners, investors and the public all wait and see what happens in the election. Only time will tell but we may see interest rates cut again in February if the New Zealand economy does not pick up as expected. However, the glass can be both half empty and half full at the same time, it just depends on your perspective. There are opportunities out there for all of us, we just have to be prepared to work and look harder for them, this applies whether we are

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in business or investing. Many of our clients see the current environment as just a part of the natural cycle of markets and business confidence and are taking a long-term perspective. We agree. In our recent seminar on investment returns etc, we noted that the people who lost money in 2007 were typically the ones who sold out at the bottom of the market, as opposed to those that took a long term perspective and just waited it out. Those that stayed in typically all saw their losses recouped after 18-24 months. The same applies to businesses. Mike Bradley, our new Covisory team member is seeing continued strong demand and prices for business sales as people look for different investments. A well run and profitable business is in strong demand and will still be so next year. So, when we look back at 2019, focus on what were the good points and why, and let’s see if we can carry them into 2020 and make it a great year. Thanks for being part of our Covisory family. We have enjoyed working with you all this year and hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and relaxing New Year before embarking on a successful 2020. Nigel Smith www.covisory.com nigel@covisory.com


CONTENT

Feature Article - 04

Bringing family into the business? General Interest - 8

Business - 12

Olexis Ohanian Creating the front page of the internet

Managing work life balance to boost employee retention

Trust- 16

Changes to the Disclosure of Information to Beneficiaries

Lifestyle/Travel – 20

Discover Antartica

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BUSINESS:

Bringing family into the business?

Some practical principles for success

Many people have a rosetinted view of bringing family into their business. It can work well, but it can also fracture family relationships and have great employees tune-out of the business. Let’s look at some common pitfalls to avoid.

someone into the business to do a job or build a career? People have often joined a family business to fill a temporary need; years pass, and they find that they have added little to their competencies and capabilities. Ask yourself – “Would I take this job, and where would this job take me?” •

a son into the business with substance abuse issues, staff felt unsafe and started leaving. Ask yourself “Will this issue be solved by working in the business?”

at the end of the day, and good morning the next be together at a birthday dinner that night, and a wedding on the weekend. Not all domestic arrangements survive. Family business relationships can be a source of strength, but they can also suffocate and sour relationships. So, to the basics. When considering bringing a family member into the business can you answer each of these questions? As a family member considering joining the enterprise, can you also answer these questions? •

Can the business afford the cost? Too many family businesses rely on cheap family labour to prop up businesses that are no longer sustainable. Once in the business it’s hard to leave – I have heard people say, “I can’t leave, or my dad will lose his livelihood.” Ask yourself – “Would I employ someone to do this job?”

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Am I creating a job for a family member that has other issues? – When a business owner brought

For most working relationships, we say goodnight business day. In family businesses we might also

Does the job have prospects? Are you bringing

What will the staff working within the business think? Sometimes there is an expectation that family will join the business; however, ambitious staff may leave, and talent may not consider joining if they see that to get ahead you need to be part of the clan. Ask yourself “Will this increase the talent pool?”

These questions highlight the views of the participants, but let’s look forward at the question from the perspective of building a business that has value, and that a family member will be a strength to join.

Principle One – Have a plan for the business, and stick to it If your goal is to keep the business in the family, plan for it.


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Statistically very few businesses make the transfer to the next generation; but a good plan will improve

Principle Three – Engage early with your family, focus on life skills

your odds. Talk about the business at home: what it does, why A key to successful transfers between generations

you think it’s successful. Discuss how you make

is that the business is actually worth transferring.

decisions and ask their opinion or how they might

Robust planning and engagement with family

approach a decision. Try not to tell; rather, listen and

shareholders and stakeholders will help. At the core

discuss issues with them. All too often children have

the business needs to be economically sound and

no idea about what their parents do.

growing. A business that supports one family may not be able to support two.

Having them do the most basic of jobs and do them well is a good guide to future performance. In every

Be prepared to record all commitments, especially

company, staff do things that are tough but make the

regarding shareholding, in writing.

organisation function: cleaning floors, packing goods, answering phones, following through on customer

Principle Two – Build the business on merit Family may be able to do that job, but is it good for them and also good for the business? Good plans enable clear goals and objectives to be set which can be measured. All staff should be held to account for delivery, including family members. Family businesses often have family members doing tasks of little value or being paid for doing nothing. The former is not good for the individual;

orders, keeping the network running, driving trucks. These are all good tests of perseverance, relationship building, and understanding cost and the value of money. Make sure they get some customer-facing experience, to test their people engagement skills. This will also help a family member get a view of whether they like the industry, the current strategy of the business, and the culture within the firm. Be prepared for answers ranging from “I can do it, but it’s not me” through to “I want to join now”.

entitlement will corrode family relationships.

Principle Four – Find a way to talk safely about goals and expectations

Be clear about performance expectations, and also

Talk openly about expectations, not just yours

expect to be held account for decisions you make

but theirs. You may have always seen them in the

about the business.

business, but is that what they want? From the

the latter will build a corrosive culture. An attitude of

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business perspective is that what is needed? If they want to join – why? What will they bring to the business? Work experience helps. Getting a job in another organisation can be transformational. It could be somewhere else in the same industry or in another industry. Working for someone else can build skills, experience, market, and commercial knowledge. Bringing larger corporate experience into a smaller business can facilitate faster growth and development. Advanced education can be very helpful. Going and working in a pub in the UK on the understanding that there will always be a home in the family business may not be helpful – see Principle Two.

Principle Five – It doesn’t always work Have an agreed way to exit if it doesn’t work. Agree a trial period. “Let’s review this in two years,” is a good way to start.

Trusted advisor A really useful support in these circumstances is an advisor to the family business. Someone who knows the business well and who can be a wise head for family to talk to. This person needs to be a great listener, with excellent people skills, a knowledge of the business, and an understanding of planning. Most of all, they need to be trusted. They rarely tell people what to do; rather they ask questions to enable the players to work things out themselves.

I have met too many people who have felt trapped in a family business. Often overpaid, they are unable to leave without a drop in lifestyle. They may become resentful as well as being an unneeded cost to the business. Finally, be prepared to talk about your expectations, the most common of which will be how long you intend to stay in the business. Prince Charles has been a heartbeat away from a job for 71 years - but then, he is working for a monopoly.

Nigel Smith

Brian Freestone

www.covisory.com

www.covisory.com

nigel@covisory.com

brian@covisory.com


Alexis Ohanian-

Creating the front page of the internet

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GENERAL INTEREST:

In 2005 Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman approached Y-Combinator with the idea for a website called MyMobileMenu and were turned down. The seed accelerator, though, encouraged them to come back with other potential ideas. Soon, they returned with greater ambitions; to create the front page of the internet. Just months later, their project, Reddit, would turn into a major success.

the same in terms of its design and function. Fundamentally, it’s designed to allow users to form interest-based communities and to interact with one another on their own terms. Its largely laissez-faire attitude with regard to its content allowed it to become the central hub for communities and content centered around a wide variety of issues, ranging from major political issues to relatively meaningless internet memes. The most immediate effect of this was that Reddit grew incredibly fast. Just five months after going online, Reddit began to receive over a million views per day. Since then, it has continued to grow, establishing itself as a household name on the web, and becoming the source of shareable content for other major websites like Buzzfeed, Tumblr, and occasionally even major news sites. This prominence has allowed it to post annual revenues as high as $100 million, despite its lack of aggressive

Today, Reddit receives over 20 million unique

monetisation, and the fact that it does not collect

visitors per month, and Ohanian has been hailed

personal user data.

as “the mayor of the internet” by Forbes magazine. Moreover, Ohanian has amassed an estimated personal net worth of over $70 million, despite leaving Reddit in 2010. His success with Reddit, and his later ventures, is attributable both to his entrepreneurial approach, and his ability to relate to and capitalise on the needs of internet users.

The rise of Reddit

The center of a political internet Reddit refers to itself as the “front page of the internet”, and in some ways this is true. The Reddit community, with the encouragement and participation of Ohanian, is a center of political activism for internet-related issues. Reddit doesn’t require users to use a personal email address to create an account, and doesn’t collect personal

Even when it was founded in 2005, Reddit looked

information from its users. This allows users to

relatively low-tech on its face. The design of the

remain anonymous, and has made Reddit a major

website is simple, and all content is shared or

center of advocacy for an open internet, for net

created by users. Since then, little has changed.

neutrality, and for internet privacy. Besides this,

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other major social

activists for a wide variety of political and social

media platforms, Reddit has remained largely

causes organise on the site.

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This tolerance for controversy is a major part of

Reddit allowed him to create something that reflected

Reddit’s appeal to its users, and is ultimately what

his own personal values, as well as those of many

makes it unique and irreplaceable to them. Ironically,

internet users. Moreover, it created a platform that he

it’s also what has made the site relatively difficult to

himself has also used to engage with and advocate for

monetise, as advertisers ultimately can’t allow their

his personal and political interests, such as paternity

brands to be associated with overly controversial

leave and net neutrality. After Reddit was established,

content. The business success of Reddit lies in

he went on to pursue his passion for entrepreneurship

balancing the interests of its user base and its

by getting involved in investing in other new

advertisers.

businesses. This allowed him to continue to do the work that he was experienced in, and that he was

Sticking to entrepreneurship

passionate about.

Unlike many entrepreneurs, Ohanian did not stick

This provides an important lesson to other

with his big success in the long term. Instead, he left Reddit in 2010 to pursue other projects. In 2007, even before he left Reddit, he founded another business, Breadpig, which produced geek-focused merchandise. After leaving Reddit, he founded Das Kapital Capital, a startup investment and consulting firm. Since then, he has made numerous seed

entrepreneurs. While it’s tempting to stick with our greatest successes, it’s not always what’s best for our business, or ourselves as entrepreneurs. Running a business is not the same job as founding a startup, and great entrepreneurs often don’t make great CEOs. By moving on, Ohanian ensured that he could continue doing what he was best at.

investments, helping other entrepreneurs get on their feet.

Fifo Capital Business Finance www.fifocapital.com

What we can learn

Ohanian’s approach to business has allowed him to focus on leveraging his own talents and interests as much as possible.

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info@fifocapital.com


#we are starting something new

Our new website is set to launch December 6 Come and take a look, more information, more videos, more about us. Connect magazines, and white papers are available for viewing.

www.covisory.com NEW SITE AVAILABLE FROM DECEMBER 6 2019

Wealth | Tax | Business


BUSINESS:

Manage work-life balance to boost employee retention The issue of employee retention is becoming increasingly important for businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the developed world. Typical working conditions for employees have evolved over the past several decades to become more punishing for workers, even as the number of skilled workers relative to available jobs has declined. For businesses who rely on these workers, recruiting and training new personnel is time consuming and expensive, and can limit their ability to grow and to operate at their full potential. The most important way for businesses to manage these costs, besides improving recruitment and onboarding methods, is to reduce the rate of employee turnover. To do this, it’s important to understand why employees quit their jobs, and what to do about it. One leading cause of employee attrition is also a symptom of the skill shortage, and evolving working conditions: the lack of worklife balance, and the effects this has on people’s relationships, health, and ability to manage other responsibilities.

Work life balance is becoming more difficult for workers and businesses Improvements in technology over the past two decades, globalisation, and the skill shortage itself are making it more difficult than ever for employees to balance their work and private lives. Email and high-speed internet mean that many employees are expected to be available at all hours, and to take work home with them as needed. This is particularly problematic as businesses become more globalised, and employees find themselves getting up in the middle of the night to digitally join meetings with far-away business partners. Not only are workers increasingly losing access to neat and predictable 9 to 5 workdays, those workdays are also becoming much longer. Most Australians work at least 5 hours of overtime per week, with approximately 28 per cent working 10 or more hours of overtime. The resulting work schedules are both bloated and irregular, leaving employees overworked, stressed, and unable to make time for their personal lives.

Fight to prevent excessive overtime A limited amount of paid overtime has always been the norm in many industries, but the current situation is relatively new. Too much overtime,

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particularly unpaid overtime, can overtax employees

Businesses who view flexible work in this way often

mentally and physically, and ultimately reduce

restrict access to this type of working arrangement

productivity. This, in turn, can prompt businesses

for fathers, or for employees who have other reasons

to push employees for even more of their time.

to gain greater control over their work lives.

Ultimately, workers will become resentful of their working conditions, and leave.

By extending flexible work options to fathers, for example, businesses can help to keep more skilled

In order to avoid this, businesses need to limit the

women in the workforce, which makes recruitment

amount of time employees spend working, and

easier for everyone. This is because it’s much easier

ensure that their workloads can actually be managed

for two parents with flexible work arrangements to

without overtime. After all, telling an employee not

manage their careers and childcare together, than to

to work excessive hours is not going to be effective if

place the entire burden on one parent—the mother.

the employee is still held responsible for an excessive workload. Instead, businesses need to ensure that

Flexible work isn’t just about making time for

they have enough personnel to keep the business

children, either. Rather, it’s a way to help workers

running on a normal schedule. That, in turn, is easiest

deal with modern stressors, and to provide them

when worker attrition is low.

with the control they need over their lives. An employee who is expected to rise at 2:00 in the

Making work more flexible

morning for a meeting needs a way to reclaim that

Irregular schedules are difficult for employees to

later the next day, or moving their working hours (or

plan around, so long as they don’t control those schedules. Flexible working solves this problem by giving workers a measure of control over when and how they meet their professional responsibilities. This allows them to better tackle their other responsibilities, and to help carve out the personal time they need to manage stress.

time later, whether that means coming to work location) around in another way. This, along with properly controlled working hours, ensures that employees can still get the personal time they need to stay healthy and productive, and to deal with their other responsibilities despite the added and irregular responsibilities associated with modern work.

Flexible work isn’t just for women Most often, flexible working arrangements are seen as a way for parents, specifically mothers, to care for children while working. This has damagingly typecast flexible work, and undermined its usefulness.

Fifo Capital Business Finance www.fifocapital.com

Covisor y Conn ec t Ma gazin e l 13 info@fifocapital.com


COVISORY:

Meet the Team As part of Covisory Connect we are highlighting members of the Covisory team and find out what they do outside of the Covisory family.

Sally Herbert

and high-end retail outlets throughout New Zealand. As a result, I don’t have any spare time! Having a purpose-built workshop located on our Mt Eden property complete with a repurposed cabinet makers workbench and crystal chandelier made up

I am definitely the quiet member of the Parnell

from crystals brought along Portobello Road on one

team and one of the original team starting out

of our visits is a real bonus. It’s a great space so you

when we were called Taxation and Commercial

will generally find me there working with a mix of

Solutions Limited (I wasn’t the one who came up

Silver, Bronze and Gold.

with such a long name). Not surprisingly it quickly got abbreviated to Tax and Comm or Tacsl!!) My

My style is modern and sculptural, with an emphasis

preference is to keep in the background, so I

on surface and texture. My aim is not perfection

primarily work in the back-office operations. Yes I can

with my work, I like the imperfections in a piece to

read a balance sheet when pushed, I write in code

make it come alive and provides the work with a

and in words, am a serial project manager and event

softer unique look rather than the harsh lines of a

manager (working in Covisory means you get to be

very processed piece. I am probably not your typical

a jack of all trades – but I did draw a line in getting

Jewellery designer as my work is not based around

into a racing car for our Hampton Down Days for

Gemstones – must be the dragon in me as I much

Hot Laps). Probably a wise idea since I have been

prefer hoarding the stones rather than using them!

known to be ‘slightly’ accident prone with office sweepstakes being run when I go on holiday.

With working with Nigel and the Covisory family along with my work in HerbertandWilks and the

I live in the heart of Mt Eden with some of the family

galleries, I have learned some important lessons. It’s

and two crazy dogs in a house that is known to have

a real privilege working with a group of people that

far too many early New Zealand antiques, well that’s

are genuine, and that it’s not all about a business

my view, possibly not Peter’s. Peter, my husband

transaction. Im passionate about my work both at

works for Colliers International as their CFO and our

Covisory and as a Jewellery Designer and having my

three boys have now all finished University, with two

values closely aligned to the people I work with is a

having moved out of the family home.

real pleasure.

Alongside my Covisory work, I also have a growing

Seize your opportunities and follow your passions!

reputation as a contemporary jewellery designer

Sally

which I run under my own name or HerbertandWilks Jewellery. I’m now represented by various galleries Adventures on snow 14 l Covisor y Conn ec t Ma gazin e


OPINION:

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TRUSTS:

Changes to the Disclosure of Information to Beneficiaries

The biggest practical change facing trustees with passing of the Trusts Act 2019 (“the Act”) is the ongoing disclosure to beneficiaries of a Trust. This always existed in one form or another at common law, but the Act extends this in some unintended ways in which the settlors would not have thought about when a trust was originally put in place. The Act imposes a duty on all trustees to inform all beneficiaries they are a beneficiary of a trust, regardless of whether they have received a distribution in the past or not. There are some carve outs where a beneficial class is very wide, i.e. all charities in New Zealand, but all other beneficiaries will need to be informed. Some deeds of trust have what we call ‘kitchen sink’ beneficial classes which includes spouses of children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters etc and the classic definition of “Trusts of which a beneficiary of”. Clearly, the settlor didn’t intend for all beneficiaries to know about the trust when it was formed and there is a great deal of fear that once a beneficiary has knowledge, they will cause problems for the trustees administering the trust. Once all the beneficiaries have been identified, the trustees will then need to disclose trust information as follows: •

The fact that the person is a beneficiary of the trust

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The name and contact details of the trustees

The occurrence of and details of changes of trustees

The right of the beneficiary to request a copy of the terms of the trust or trust information

Beneficiaries can clearly request more information and there is a presumption in the Act that the trustees must provide the information within a reasonable time frame. The trustees need to consider various factors set out in the Act, but if they decide not to disclose information the reasons will have to be compelling. If the decision to not disclose is successfully challenged by beneficiaries, expect costs to be awarded against the trustees and a challenge as to whether they stay as trustees as well. This is obviously quite a change from how trusts are currently administered with many beneficiaries not knowing they are a beneficiary of a trust. The new Act is concerned with ensuring trustees are doing their job properly and that beneficiaries have sufficient information to enforce the trust. A lot of litigation is expected in this area once the new rules come into force at the end of January 2021. At Covisory we believe that the practical position will be that all beneficiaries are provided with a copy of the deed of trust and any variations as well as a copy of the annual financial statements of the trust. For the original settlors who set up the trust, one of the primary goals was to support the family in the future but not to the detriment of the beneficiaries not working hard for themselves, i.e. the trust fund baby syndrome! We have noticed that for our clients they are increasingly concerned about spoiling


children who are beneficiaries and have deliberately

experience with older deeds this will not be possible

kept the true wealth of the family from them. The

leaving the trustees in a situation of disclosing to a

new disclosure rules will potentially cause issues

wide range of beneficiaries. Decisions will then need

with this type of situation. In our opinion the right for

to be made as to whether the trust stays in existence

beneficiaries to know about the trust and ensuring

going forward.

beneficiaries do not end up exhibiting entitled

Brian Freestone

behaviour will be a fine balancing act for the Trustees

We are happy to discuss any questions you may have

and education for all parties will be very important.

around the new trust laws.

www.covisory.com

brian@covisory.com

If you have an existing trust and you feel the new

Marcus Diprose

rules will cause issues then it will be necessary to

www.covisory.com

review the deed of trust carefully to determine

marcus@covisory.com

whether any changes can be made to the deed to exclude beneficiaries or vary the deed itself. In our

Covisor y Conn ec t Ma gazin e l 17


Tech Corner NZ Foreign Trusts (2019) Key Points 1.

New Zealand Foreign Trusts are caught as a reverse hybrid entity under NZ Income Tax Legislation.

2.

There is no tax impact yet as the relevant provisions for the Income Tax Act have not been passed, but it is coming in the next year or so.

1 Background 1.1

Trusts established in New Zealand (NZ) with a non-resident settlor or settlors are known as Foreign Trusts. NZ’s income tax legislation taxes the trust’s income based on the resident of the settlor. As Foreign Trusts have non-resident settlors, their non-NZ sourced income of the Trust was not generally taxable in NZ.

1.2

The potential tax mismatches with NZ Foreign Trusts were noted by the NZ Government when considering the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.

1.3

As part of Action 2 of the Plan, the OECD recommended changes to a country’s domestic law to eliminate or counter-act these cross border arrangements that utilise differences in tax treatments between countries to eliminate, defer or reduce income tax.

1.4

Both the Inland Revenue and the Treasury recommended to the NZ Government that NZ Foreign Trusts should be incorporated into changes to NZ domestic law to eliminate these potential mismatches. Subpart FH of the Income Tax Act 2007 was introduced to adopt most of the OECD’s recommendations in their action plan.

1.5

The majority of the legislation applies from the income years beginning on or after 1 July 2019.

1.6

This paper outlines how this legislation applies to a NZ Foreign Trust.

2 Reverse Hybrid Entities 2.1

A hybrid entity is defined in section FH15 of the Income Tax Act 2007 (Act).

2.2 It means a person or other entity that is recognised as a person who is subject to tax in a country that treats it as a tax resident and is not recognised as a person that is subject to tax in another country.

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2.3 “Hybrid Entity”, for two countries or territories, means a person or other entity that is:

a recognised in one of the countries (the resident jurisdiction) as being a resident of the resident jurisdiction and subject to taxation under the taxation law of the resident jurisdiction;

b not recognised in the other country or territory (the overseas jurisdiction) as being a person, or other entity, subject to taxation under the taxation law of the overseas jurisdiction in relation to income with a source in the overseas jurisdiction.

2.4 A NZ Foreign Trust will fall within the definition of a hybrid entity as it is resident in New Zealand and subject to the tax laws of New Zealand. However the foreign sourced income earned by the NZ trustee of a Foreign Trust was not taxed in NZ on the basis that it was more appropriately treated as earned by a foreign settlor, who is not subject to New Zealand tax on non-source New Zealand source income. 2.5 A NZ Foreign Trust is therefore a reverse hybrid entity for the purposes of the legislation. Both NZ Treasury and Inland Revenue recommended that reverse hybrid entities should be taxable on their non- NZ sourced income if this income was not taxable in the overseas jurisdiction i.e. the country of residence of the non-resident settlor. 2.6 Section FH 7 of the Act deals with payments made to a reverse hybrid. However, this section denies deductions rather than including income. 2.7 Sections FH 4 and FH 6 treat receipts as assessable income. However, sections FH 4 and FH 6 apply to payments received by the NZ entity that are deductible in the other jurisdiction but not treated as taxable in NZ. 2.8 Accordingly, there is no specific provision under subpart FH which would tax the trustee income of a NZ Foreign Trust on income derived outside New Zealand. For example, income from foreign investments of the trust which may be taxable under NZs CFC or FIF legislation. 2.9 We have discussed this issue with a senior Inland Revenue policy official who has confirmed the above analysis. It is still their policy intention that the non-NZ sourced income of a NZ Foreign Trust should be taxed in NZ, particularly, if it is not taxed in the other jurisdiction of the reverse hybrid entity. However, they were unable to devote adequate resources to prepare the provisions (and amendments elsewhere in the Act) for it to be introduced within the Government’s timeframe. 2.10 This issue remains on the Inland Revenue’s Policy Work Programme. The question now is when will sufficient resources be devoted to preparing legislation and have the support of the Government of the day for it to be enacted. 2.11 We consider that NZ Foreign Trusts do not have a long-life expectancy, but for now they remain effective.

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LIFESTYLE/TRAVEL:

Discover Antarctica

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WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO TO ANTARCTICA? As a seasonal destination, knowing the right time of year to go to Antarctica is important. However before we get to “when to go”, on the map you’ll see we’ve highlighted the two main Antarctic destinations: The Antarctic Peninsula (south of South America) and The

CRUISING TO ANTARCTICA Cruises visit Antarctica between November and March each year (weather permitting). Interestingly though, within that four-month window you have the opportunity to see different things depending on when you go.

Ross Sea (south of New Zealand). Where you go to

October - November This is springtime in

in Antarctica will determine when you can go as the

Antarctica and when you will find some of the best

travel seasons are different for these two destinations.

priced cruise departures. The penguins are on their eggs at this time of year and the landscape is still pristine and snow covered. At this time of year only the Antarctic Peninsular Expeditions depart.

December - January During December the penguin eggs start to hatch, and the Humpback whales return to the peninsula. This is the peak of the wildlife season in Antarctica. Ross Sea Expeditions The Ross Sea

(the area south of New Zealand) start to depart in this period.

February - March This is the best whale watching The Antarctic Peninsular

period in the Peninsula. For photography enthusiasts the light is beautiful. In late February the Penguins start to moult. March is the end of the season for both Ross Sea & Peninsular Expeditions.

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BOOKING YOUR ANTARCTICA CRUISE

Air New Zealand’s direct flight from Auckland to

There are two important questions that differ from

to Santiago. Qantas’ codeshare flight to Australia to

everday travel: When to book your Antarctica Cruise and booking the flights to join your intended

Buenos Aires. LATAM’s direct flight from Auckland connect with a LATAM flight to Santiago

Antarctica Cruise.

Once you get to South America ther e will generally

Due to the short season you’ll generally need to be booking at least a year in advance.

departure port (commonly Ushuaia).

At the date of this article, we can provide advice and

required because of the connection times.

be a further “domestic” flight to the ultimate

Some cruise lines will offer a charter flight to the departure port (such as from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia) and often an overnight stopover will be

pricing for October 2020 to March 2021 itineraries, and would require bookings soon in order to hold

If the idea of crossing the Drake Passage doesn’t

a place. Generally only a deposit is required when

appeal (or you’re short on time), options are available

booking so far in advance.

to fly to Antarctica to join a cruise.

It is important to remember that “Expedition” Cruise

For cruises departing from New Zealand, usually

ships are generally much smaller than traditional

Christchurch or Invercargill are the departure points.

cruise ships. As only 100 people are allowed on the ice at one time, smaller ships are popular - but it also means that they are more likely to sell out. On rare occasions special offers are available for those open to making last minute decisions - so for the October 2019 to March 2020 season select cruise lines may have last minute special offers, enquire at Fine Travel if you’re interested in last minute deals.

CONNECTING WITH YOUR CRUISE For cruises departing from South America for the Antarctic Peninsula there are three main airline options for flights to South America:

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT ANTARCTIC CRUISE FOR YOU There is quite a remarkable variety of cruise lines that offer itineraries to Antarctica. From luxurious “soft expedition” options (Ponant’s Expedition Fleet is one of the leading cruise lines in Antarctica) through to quite authentic “icebreaker” ships, and options in between. A description you will often see is “Small Ships”. You can explore a selection of itineraries on the dedicated Fine Travel cruise website.


Fine Travel is a client of Covisory Finetravel.co.nz Covisor y Conn ec t Ma gazin e l 23 travel@finetravel.co.nz


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Covisory Connect Issue 4, 2019