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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 28 March 2002

Cook Islands to co-operate with OECD tax haven work

The Cook Islands has agreed to improve the transparency of its tax system and to exchange tax information with other countries, the OECD has announced. The Cook Islands is one of several countries in the Pacific area the OECD has identified as tax havens and whose commitment to change it is seeking. The others are the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, and Vanuatu. The Cook Islands is the first of the identified countries to agree to co-operate with the OECD. For more information see the OECD's media release [link no longer available] and the Minister of Revenue's media statement.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance


Cook Islands' tax co-operation welcomed

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed the Cook Islands' willingness to co-operate with the OECD in the enforcement of tax laws.

The OECD announced yesterday that the Cook Islands had made a commitment to improve the transparency of its tax system and to a full exchange of information on tax matters with OECD countries by the year 2005.

As a result, the Cook Islands would not be included in the OECD's list of un-cooperative tax havens.

"This is good news given the close relationship between New Zealand and the Cook Islands," Dr Cullen said.

"It should remove some of the problems we have had in the past, such as the 'Winebox' episode, which demonstrated the difficulty New Zealand authorities had in obtaining offshore tax data.

"New Zealand would welcome other Pacific tax havens following the Cooks' example."

Contact: Patricia Herbert [senior press secretary] 471-9412 or 021-270-9013. E-mail [email protected]