Do you know who I am?

Nah figured you wouldn’t.

And as a former insider that is totes what success looks like. But as of Wednesday night I was released from the Public Service. Was also released from the associated income but haven’t fully processed that yet. Upshot is I can now be a little more visible.

But where are my manners.

My name is Andrea Black. I am a mother of two pretty much grown up sons; yogini; and international tax specialist. Also a major francophile and film buff.

And I am having a gap year.

They weren’t a thing when I was young but as I have always been a late adopter – first smart phone was only last year –  so figured now was my time. I have been told at my age they are called a ‘sabbatical’  but that sounds far too establishment. So I am sticking with gap year.

Between when I was the right age for a gap year and now I have become more left wing. Or progressive as I prefer the term. My first ever vote at the 1984 snap election was for the NZ Party followed by solid Labour voting in the 80’s. This included voting Labour in Fendalton in 1987 when Phillip Burdon almost lost his seat. Through to ACT at the turn of the century until they became super weird.

The GFC changed everything for me.

I saw the awful period I lived through 1987 to mid nineties returning and potentially now hitting my children too. THAT WAS NOT THE DEAL!!! The shit we went through over that period – as a young accountant I lost my job twice without redundancy – was not supposed to repeat. It was supposed to be a one off clean up with rising per capita incomes thereafter. I don’t remember beggars on the street being part of the discussion.

I have now become much more attuned to the structural power imbalances in society and the role of the State in lessening them. Like I say I am a bit slow. But I am here now.

Anyway that was all largely narcissistic irrelevance as this is going to be a tax blog. There might be other random stuff as I have been inside for a long time. But mostly tax.

I have been a tax insider since 2000. Starting as a junior analyst at IRD policy and watching the Winter of Discontent, I moved through to a specialist position in the field.

More recently I did 4 budgets at the Treasury and have just finished another year in the field at IRD. I have been the tax equivalent of Forrest Gump over that period although at times I was directly involved.

That is all I am going to say. So yes I could be writing about things I worked on but the base material will be public and the opinions wholly my own.

Ok now Corporate Legal breathe out. I know my legal obligations and they will fully honoured. Nothing secret or confidential will be disclosed here. Any further concerns you dear people may have they are nothing a good yin class, a breathing exercise and/or a spot of meditation won’t fix. Truly it will be fine. There are limits to my interest in the criminal justice system.

Coz what I am wanting to do is make tax accessible. For years I have been fan girling on Lee Sheppard and Mrs Moneypenny and am now looking to ‘steal their looks’.

In case either of these lovely ladies think I may owe them a royalty. I cite Stephen Colbert. My position is that I am merely emulating them and definitely not imitating them. The consequence  that the former doesn’t involve a royalty and the latter does plays no part in the analysis.

In the event I am wrong please be aware that 5% of zero is still zero.

So dear readers starting Monday. Let’s talk about tax!

Monday will be what does fairness look like in tax? Aka an open letter to the Left and those concerned about this stuff.

I’ll leave you with the Colbert analysis I will cite in any Sheppard v Black law suit. Key reference is at about 2 mins. Serious home baking to anyone though who can get a feed from Lee to me.












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