Winston Peters calls for 'ban' on Apple
Winston Peters appears to be calling for Apple to be blacklisted from selling iPhones and iPads in New Zealand if it won't cough up its fair share of tax.
"Either you play the game or you don't have a market in our country. It's not difficult, and when they get that sort of ultimatum, they tend to play the game," Mr Peters told Newshub.
Mr Peters had already called for Government agencies to stop buying Apple products but went further during the interview.
Asked afterwards to clarify whether he was referring to blocking Apple entirely from New Zealand market until it paid tax, Mr Peters gave a cryptic response.
"Publish what I said. Don't interpret or editorialise. The public will get it even if you don't," he said in a text message.
The US tech giant paid no income tax last year, despite selling more than $4 billion worth of products in New Zealand
The New Zealand First leader says he's been calling for tougher rules for years for multinational companies like Apple.
"The Government should be making it very clear to all these companies that we are not a place where you can reconfigure your finances so you pay no taxes at all, and think you're doing our country a favour by just being here selling your product," he said.
"We want to be fair and equitable and if you're not, then we won't be your customer."
New Zealand First also released figures showing government departments purchased 582 iPhones, 799 iPads, and 15 iMacs in the 2014/15 financial year. The figures don't include what local councils purchased.
"We've never had a Government that's prepared to front up to these people because to do so, they claim, is to be anti-business, but it's not anti-business at all," says Mr Peters.
"Apple should be told 'play by our rules, pay fair tax in New Zealand, be a decent international citizen in our country, or bite on that'," he says.
Mr Peters is also calling for Government should use its own leverage of Apple product procurement to force the company to play ball.