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Lessons From Tragedy

Tax talk dominated public discourse over the past month, before being thrust firmly into the background by the Christchurch mosque terror attacks. They are a tragedy we all need to reflect on.

By: Miriam Bell

1 April 2019

Sitting down to write this editorial just a few days after the Christchurch mosque terror attacks it feels wrong not to address what happened. Here at NZ Property Investor magazine, our hearts go out to all the people affected by the tragic events of March 15. We send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and a message of support to the wider community.

For me, alongside an overwhelming sadness, it is shock that is the dominant emotion. The violence perpetrated on innocent people does not represent the New Zealand that we know. Now, much needed dialogue about how the attacks happened, as well as the role of social media, gun access, and security agency oversights are already starting to take place.

These are all critical discussions the country needs to have, but there are also some key messages coming out of the developing national conversation that I think do matter in the property investment sphere, which I do want to touch on here.

One significant message to emerge is the importance of, and need for, basic understanding and decency in human interactions – both in person and online. Without this, it is too easy to demonise those perceived of as the “other”. In contrast, going about interactions and transactions with empathy and respect tends to pay off for all involved. The most inspiring property investors that we talk to inevitably embody this principle.

For example, in this month’s commercial property article we profile Michael Mackinven. He talks extensively about his belief that he has a responsibility to care for, and invest in, the people and the properties he is involved with. In a similar vein, last month’s profile subject, Tua Saseve, is guided by a sense of duty and the Samoan concept of Tautua (or service) in his investing.

The changing nature of the investing landscape means that investor focus is going to have to shift from capital gains to cash flow. As a result, healthy relationships – particularly between landlords and tenants – are going to become increasingly important for successful investing. So investors should think about how to best achieve them.

Ultimately, I think much of it comes down to good, and active, communication of the type modelled by Mackinven and Saseve. But it also comes down to being aware of all the different strategies and techniques that can be employed to be a responsible and astute investor. And that’s where we hope our magazine, and the articles we publish, can help.

These words are very different to the ones I was planning to write. My focus was going to be on the Tax Working Group’s final report and its capital gains tax recommendations. In fact, our lead article this issue is on that very topic, and we also offer up an article on the best ways to add value to existing properties and a profile on a late-in-life investor.

We hope our stories encourage readers to always invest first in people, before profit.

Kia kaha Christchurch.

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