Government to crack down on multinational companies dodging tax

The government has introduced legislation to parliament that will stop multinational companies avoiding tax by shifting profits offshore.

The bill will be given its first reading on Tuesday next week.

"Some multinationals use aggressive strategies to pay little or no tax anywhere in the world," Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said.

"This is known as base erosion profit shifting and is a massive problem - it denies a country its taxation revenue and erodes confidence in the fairness of the tax system."

Stopping multinationals avoiding tax was part of the coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First.

Measures in the bill will prevent multinationals from gaining a tax advantage through:

* Artificially high interest rates on loans from related parties to shift profits out of New Zealand

* Hybrid mismatch arrangements that exploit differences between countries' tax rules

* Artificial arrangements to avoid having a taxable presence in New Zealand

* Related-party transactions to shift profits to offshore group members.

"The proposed new rules will be an effective response to current avoidance techniques, but are not the end of the story," Mr Nash said.

"The Government will continue to investigate further options, both legislative and administrative, to counter aggressive tax practices."

New Zealand money, dollars, currency
New Zealand currency. Source:

Kiwi teen stopped at Los Angeles Airport on his way to meet a registered sex offender he met online

A Kiwi teen who flew to the US to meet a convicted child sex offender has been stopped at Los Angeles Airport.

The 17-year-old arrived at LAX on Monday where he told US Customs officials that he was visiting the US to see a man that he made friends with on social media four years ago, Fairfax Media reports.

The teenager flew in on a one way ticket and only had $26 on his person. He said he planned to visit his friend at his family home in Howell, Michigan.

Upon looking into the story, customs found the man he had come to meet was a registered sex offender with two convictions to his name including sexual conduct with someone under the age of 13 and sexual assault.

Director of Field Operations at CBP Los Angeles, Carlos Martel told Fairfax Media the teenager was interviewed under federal standards for the protection of teenagers travelling to the United States alone.

"Minors are particularly vulnerable to sexual predators that commonly present themselves as individuals they can trust," Mr Martel said.

The 17-year-old has now been returned to New Zealand, where he lives with a caregiver.

New Zealand police say they are "aware of this matter and enquiries are ongoing".

Los Angeles Airport sign.
Los Angeles Airport sign. Source: Getty


'There's no miracles in it' - Dog trainer recognised for her work turning man's best friend into invaluable helpers

Dog trainer Janice Kirk has spent her entire career proving man's best friend can be much more.

Ms Kirk has been nominated for this year’s Kiwibank Local Hero awards.

She helped train a dog, Delta, for Afghanistan veteran Dion Taka after he was injured in the 2012 battle of Baghak.

He says getting Delta has changed his life.

"The sleep patterns, the nightmares, the dreams – they've all settled down," Mr Taka says.

The little white shepherd has helped him manage his symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"The change that she's made to my life is huge. She's given me back some quality of life," he says.

Delta's now close to becoming a fully-qualified assistance dog and, thanks to Ms Kirk, it's all been free of charge.

Now the Kotuku Foundation, which provides dogs like Delta, has nominated Janice for one of this year's Kiwibank Local Hero awards.

Ms Kirk, a trainer with Tevra Dog Training, remains humble over her work.

"I can't train the dogs, I can only teach. The people train the dogs and there's no miracles in it,"  she says.

While dogs like Delta are used worldwide, Delta is the first of her kind in New Zealand.

Her success may become a model for more support dogs across the country.

Janice Kirk is a recipient of this year's Kiwibank Local Hero Awards. Source: 1 NEWS