More Top Stories


Alleged rapist in remand

27 April 2024

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Air NZ also silent in tax case costs

Thursday 26 January 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National


Air NZ also  silent in tax  case costs

Air New Zealand won’t reveal costs – including legal costs to be borne by Cook Islands taxpayers – related to a case involving the Revenue Management Division and the airline.

A spokesperson for the airline yesterday told Cook Islands News: “We are unable to share numbers but I have the following statement you can use.”

The statement attributed to Air New Zealand chief financial officer Richard Thomson, said: “Air New Zealand acknowledges the outcome of the High Court of the Cook Islands case concluding the airline was incorrectly taxed on certain payments it received from the Cook Islands Government. This decision re-enforces the international tax rules around the taxation of international airlines.  All income Air New Zealand receives from the Cook Islands Government will be subject to taxation in New Zealand.”

Read more:

PM silent on legal costs in $5.4m Air NZ case

Government remains mum on Air New Zealand ‘legal’ bill

$5.4 million returned in overpaid tax  

Questions remain in Cooks Air NZ tax case

Cook Islands News contacted the airline yesterday morning with questions.

The newspaper provided the airline with background information, and asked: Can Air NZ please tell us what the total claim, and pay out, including legal and associated costs is please?  Why did Air NZ choose to pursue the matter? Is Air NZ pleased with the result/determination?  What did Air NZ learn from this case, given it involved millions of dollars? Anything else you mention?

A heavily redacted 51-page document released by the courts earlier this week did not reveal costs.

Cook Islands News has been asking the courts for the findings which were released to the newspaper on Monday.

The publication only has a figure of $5.4 million so far from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, which has been described by them and Prime Minister Mark Brown as a “tax return”.

The newspaper has asked for associated costs but even Brown will not reveal the figures saying some information “is commercial in confidence”.

Legal fees are understood to be in excess of $250,000 on top of the $5.4 million paid back to Air NZ on August 5 last year.

In the redacted judgement by (former) Chief Justice Hugh Williams, originally released in July, Air NZ objected to Revenue Management Division assessments on the grounds they were wrong in fact and law.


John Paterson on 27/01/2023

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!