New Zealand and Cook Islands sign tax agreement

By added on 10/07/2009

New Zealand has signed a tax agreement with the Cook Islands which were previously on an OECD blacklist of uncooperative tax havens.

In return for agreeing to the measure, the Cook Islands will receive benefits including some rights to the taxes on pensions, the government service and students.

Mr Key said the agreement was part of wider international efforts to clamp down on tax evaders.

He also said the deal would enable New Zealand to obtain the information it needed if it believed somebody was using the Cook Islands to evade tax.

Aid to the Cook Islands will increase from $11 million to $14 million this year and rise again in 2011 to $17 million - in line with similar increases for Samoa and Tonga.

New Zealand has signed similar agreements with the Netherlands and Bermuda.