New Zealand as a “Financial Hub”
We learn (Sunday Star Times May 13) that Mr Key has “considered offering cash payments to
global financial firms in a plan to turn New Zealand into a “financial hub” for international
investment”…. competing with “Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands as (a) tax haven(s)”.
Hubs/tax havens contribute to misery in poorer nations and the gap between rich and poor in
New Zealand and elsewhere.
Nicholas Shaxson, author of the excellent book Treasure Islands states:
“Tax havens aren’t just about tax. They are about escape..from criminal
laws..creditors..tax..prudent financial regulation – above all from democratic scrutiny and
accountability…And so tax havens lead a global race to the bottom to offer deeper secrecy, even
laxer financial regulations, and even more sophisticated tax loopholes”.
A hub/tax haven here would bring wealth to selected New Zealanders – yet an increase in the
already wide gap between rich and poor with adverse consequences to health and societal
Disturbingly “plans were drawn up for Key to discuss the policy (financial hub) with the chief
executives of Goldman Sachs and Citibank during a visit to New York” (Sunday Star Time May
13). Shaxson states: “These (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup….) are all creatures of offshore”.
Goldman Sachs in particular was heavily involved in pushing the economy of the USA and
beyond into its current parlous state.
Mr Key, New Zealand must not dance to the tune of tax avoiders and multinational banks.
Emeritus Professor M Gary Nicholls and Professor Evan J Begg University of Otago, Christchurch