Every day it seems that a new social networking tool becomes available. Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and the more recent Twitter. The world is constantly waiting with bated breath- wondering what form the next online phenomenon will take.

Each additional social media or networking device makes life even harder for business owners. Back in 'ye olde' days, a company would have had time to reply to an accusation or a negative comment. In most cases, you would hear from a journalist, asking you about the rumour. You would then hopefuly get the opportunity to take stock and put forward your side of the argument before the story ended up as front page news. Sometimes you would even be able to stop the article ever seeing the light of day...

However, nowadays everyone is a journalist. People are constantly connecting and passing on information, through blogs, online forums, news sharing pages and social networking sites. If something is said, whether it is about a business or an individual, whether it is positive or negative, it can be dispersed across the web within a matter of seconds.

Businesses need to be aware of how information is being communicated now. It is vitally important that companies are monitoring the different online tools and know how to respond when they are mentioned in the conversation. Even better would be if businesses were consistently contributing to the online discussion, building up trust with their audiences and sharing knowledge that is both beneficial and relevant to them.

This is a great blog entry on the issue from Harold Burson, one of the world's most influential PR figures and founding chairman of international PR agency, Burson-Marsteller. If this amazing man in his mid-80s understands the crucialness of being part of the online conversation, then no-one has any excuse not to be using these tools to their best advantage!


Now, as someone who escaped the UK a few years ago, I find this story downright scary! Hands up those of you who didn't realise the British government could force you to pay inheritance tax, even if you have cut up your passport and spent the last squillion years living Down Under?

Britons settled in New Zealand should not assume that they are immune from UK inheritance tax, even if they have taken New Zealand citizenship, warns Auckland-based Ken Holmes Financial Services.

The credit crunch has led to British tax agencies scouring the world for untapped revenue, which can be a nasty surprise for ex-pats. Ken Holmes, managing director of Ken Holmes Financial Services explains: `The UK Inland Revenue doesn’t necessarily accept your nationality or citizenship to be a definite reflection of your domicile. While it is not difficult to change your country of residence, it is trickier to change your domicile once it has been established, meaning that anything you own worldwide over $810,000 will be subject to 40% UK inheritance tax.’

Domicile of Origin is acquired at birth based on your father’s domicile (or mother’s if she is unmarried) and it remains the domicile unless you force a change during your life time. This can mean that if your father was UK domiciled at the time of your birth but you have been living in New Zealand say, for the past 50 years, you could in theory still be UK domiciled for the sake of inheritance tax liability.

Ken points out: `To change domicile you have to convince the UK tax authorities that you intend to remain in your country of current residence for life. This requires the proper collection and presentation of evidence to prove this intention is genuine. A lot of New Zealand residents assume that the fact they are permanently living here with little or no ties to the UK is sufficient evidence. This is not the case and we’re starting to see UK revenue inspectors looking at New Zealand residents much more closely.’

Ken advises anyone who thinks they may be liable to take financial planning advice: `We’re telling our clients in central Auckland and the Eastern suburbs that they shouldn’t assume that the UK tax man accepts that they are no longer UK domiciled. Significant action has to be taken during your lifetime to prove to the UK tax man that your intention is fact.’

If you want to be domiciled in New Zealand you must makes a submission to the Capital Taxes Office in the UK and sever most ties with the UK. Usually this means closing all British bank accounts, selling all assets in Britain and even organising your funeral in New Zealand. If you are granted a new domicile of choice it takes three years for the loss of UK domicile to become effective for IHT purposes.

Other helpful steps include;
• Taking New Zealand citizenship and changing your passport
• Joining social organisations in New Zealand and severing links with any social organisations in the UK
• Voting in New Zealand elections
• Make a will under New Zealand law
About Ken Holmes Financial Services
Ken Holmes Financial Services specialises in financial advice, insurance and investment services in central Auckland and the Eastern Suburbs.



Health & Herbs International, New Zealand’s specialist naturopathic products company, has launched the Radiance ManukaGuard lozenge. Every lozenge contains 100% pure manuka honey providing 20+ certified bioactive manuka factor, which is exciting medical researchers worldwide because of its special health promoting properties.

Radiance ManukaGuard lozenges contain only pure New Zealand manuka honey harvested from a remote and unpolluted area at the tip of the North Island of New Zealand, an area so rich with manuka trees, it enables the production of an exceptionally high quality manuka honey.

The honey is `condensed’ into a compact, convenient lozenge using a specially developed process which maintains its biological activity.

According to Professor Peter Molan at the University of Waikato: `The certified manuka factor bioactivity as found in Radiance ManukaGuard provides ultra high-potency antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Research shows that this extraordinary factor has strong properties against Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria that is the common cause of stomach and peptic ulcers, heartburn and reflux) and is extremely effective in combating the bacteria responsible for most sore throats; Streptococcus pyogenes.’

Most honeys, including much of what is sold as manuka honey, have some degree of antibacterial properties due to their naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide content. Recent research led by Professor Peter Molan at the University of Waikato has shown that the enzyme catalase found in the human body breaks down the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide, but has no effect on the potency of the special antibacterial factor that is unique to genuine manuka honey. This makes genuine manuka honey an extremely valuable antibacterial agent as its effectiveness is not downgraded once ingested.

Some Key Facts
Manuka - Leptospermum scoparium
• Unique and native to New Zealand and some limited locations in Australia
• Maori have known and utilized Manuka healing properties for centuries
• Professor Peter Molan was the first to study manuka’s healing properties
• Manuka factor bioactivity levels vary in the different varieties of manuka that grow in different areas of New ZealandThe manuka factor
• 1981- Professor Peter Molan discovers honey harvested from certain manuka trees contain unique dual antibacterial activity.
• He names this property the ‘manuka factor’ in 1998
• The manuka factor number denotes the strength of the manuka factor, the special sort of antibacterial activity that is unique to genuine manuka honey
• 2008 - Professor Peter Molan develops upgraded testing technology to more accurately measure the antibacterial bioactivity of manuka honey, the manuka factor
• Radiance® ManukaGuard™ 100% pure manuka honey provides 20+ certified manuka factor bioactivity in every lozenge. Unlike other products it does not contain cane sugar or other additives.-ends-

About Radiance and Health & Herbs International

Radiance is Health & Herbs’ premium NZ brand of nutritional supplements established 18 years ago. It is one of the top three brands ranged across all health stores with a fast growing and significant pharmacy presence in the NZ market. The Radiance brand consists of a complete range of therapeutic formulas manufactured in GMP/TGA/FDA accredited facilities from the highest quality ingredients. Including specialty through to everyday essentials and vegetarian solutions the Radiance brand is regarded as a one stop shop for natural health supplements.

Health & Herbs International is a privately owned natural products exporting, importing, distribution and marketing company. Founded in 1989 and based in Albany on Auckland’s NorthShore, the company prides itself on being driven by sound science and time-tested naturopathic principles. Health & Herbs is the major importer of American dietary supplements and distributor of high quality international and New Zealand brands of dietary supplements and natural cosmetics.