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Examining Apple’s complicated relationship with NZ

James Henderson | March 23, 2017
Apple is caught up in a controversy over paying zero tax in New Zealand over ten years

“New Zealanders expect their government to take a stand when it’s revealed that a multinational company has been avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in tax,” he added.

Yet while opportunist politicians fight for airtime in a bid to correctly condemn Apple, Kiwis don’t appear to care.

Why? Because New Zealand is all for Apple.

Backed up by IDC research, Apple sold 221,000 phones locally in the three months to December, as customers continue to consume high-end iPhone handsets.

Furthermore, the vendor recently edged Microsoft in the Kiwi detachable market totalling 80,000 devices, reporting a market share of 32 per cent during 2016.

According to IDC findings, only one thousand shipments separated top two vendors in New Zealand with Apple capturing the top spot from its closest rival Microsoft, which lost its crown for the first time since 2013.

Specifically, Apple grew close to 650 per cent year over year, off a small shipment base, due to entering the market late in 2015.

Even closer to home, at the heart of the New Zealand Government, departments purchase in excess of over a thousand Apple devices, with 1,381 in 2014/15 alone, which doesn’t include District Health Boards or other agencies.

“Why do some global corporates pay tax on New Zealand earnings but Apple doesn’t?” New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP, Winston Peters, added.

“The way some Ministers talk up Apple you’d think they were on commission.”

As a result, Peters is calling for better rules for government purchases given Apple, which fails to pay any tax here, has been the dominant supplier of mobile phones.

“Why would a government spend taxpayers’ money with a foreign corporation which manipulates the system so it does not pay a fair share of tax in New Zealand?” he questioned.

“These companies reduce what tax they owe in New Zealand through complex ‘related party finance transactions.’

“Why would the New Zealand taxpayer buy off a company that is prepared to milk this country and give nothing back in return.”

But despite Peters’ claims, the New Zealand taxpayer does buy off a company prepared milk this country and give nothing back in return.


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