The New Zealand connection to the Panama tax leaks

06 April 2016

Craig Elliffe and Michael Littlewood

Professors Craig Elliffe and Michael Littlewood from the Faculty of Law have contributed to a vigorous media conversation about multinationals and tax evasion in New Zealand.

Professor Elliffe set the ball rolling with an opinion piece in which he noted that New Zealand’s double tax treaties are the toughest nut to crack because they are being used in a way that significantly reduces the ability of New Zealand to tax New Zealand sourced business profits.

This piece, published in both the Dominion Post and New Zealand Herald, was rapidly followed by the leaked release of the Panama Papers which has focussed world attention on New Zealand’s role as an international tax haven.

Entering the fray, Professor Littlewood noted that lax disclosure requirements for New Zealand foreign trusts make them a useful and legal vehicle for overseas parties to hold assets away from scrutiny.

The two Professors have continued to be forthright in their opinions, offering expert commentary that has been very widely reported through media including TV3, Radio New Zealand news, including John Campbell’s Checkpoint, the National Business Review and an array of other publications.

TV 3

http://www.newshub.co.nz/world/nz-linked-to-global-tax-evasion-scheme-2016040409#axzz44tMRrLnm

Newstalk ZB drivetime

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/panama-papers-reveal-nz-used-to-keep-tax-secrets/

Radio NZ 9-Noon and Checkpoint

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201795645

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201795718

NZ Herald

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=11616609

The National Business Review

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shame-panama-papers-may-force-government-action-th-187060

Business Day

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/78558997/ird-says-it-has-probed-foreign-trusts-but-wont-give-numbers-as-experts-fret

TV 1 News

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/mounting-pressure-nz-government-links-panama-papers-mexican-tycoon-revealed