NZ deep at the heart of mega-rich tax avoidance

The Government must act to preserve New Zealand’s reputation by shutting down the system that sees our country implicated in a massive global network of tax avoidance, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“The extent of New Zealand’s involvement in Mossack Fonseca’s tax avoidance network has become clear as more information shows the law firm promotes New Zealand as a place for the mega-wealthy to avoid paying tax by parking their money in secret trusts here.

“Mossack Fonseca actively encouraged a massive number of people to put their money in New Zealand secret trusts. This country was at the heart of its tax avoidance plans. This must concern every New Zealander worried about our international reputation, and who can see the difference between right and wrong.

“On the face of it there is little upside to these secret trusts but there is a lot of downside. New Zealand relies on its excellent global reputation as a good place to do business. It encourages the right investment and opens doors for our exporters. We cannot afford to be seen as a tax haven, mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Belize.

“John Key's continuing denial of the facts is adding to the damage to New Zealand. He has sided with the greedy and mega-rich on this issue from day one. His Government has made it easier to hide money in New Zealand and shut down an inquiry into foreign trusts that officials wanted.

“Now is the time to act in the interests of working people here and in other countries to make sure everyone pays their fair share,” says Andrew Little.