Agreement to reduce tax evasion signed by Key and Cook Islands

John Key

As per the media reports, a Tax Information Exchange agreement has been signed by Prime Minister John Key with Cook Islands Prime Minister Jim Marurai, which is being seen as a part of their efforts to bring down tax evasion and avoid another wine-box affair.

Full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters between the two countries is provided by the Tax Information Exchange Agreement, said Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

Mr. Dunne added: "The agreement will enable the tax authorities of both countries to gain access to information about income and assets that would-be evaders try to hide in the other country."

Not only the information preserved by the banks and other financial institutions would be covered by the agreement, but also information on who benefits in company ownership chains and on the settlers, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts.

It should be noted that Mr. Key met Mr. Marurai on the main island of Rarotonga today, on the final day of his four-country Pacific visit.

Furthermore, the two prime ministers also nodded their heads in 'yes' to a Joint Ministerial Forum to further reinforce the "special relationship" between the Cook Islands and New Zealand.