NZ Super Fund insists investments are legal after being caught in Paradise Papers leak

Bermuda-based law firm Appleby helped wealthy investors use offshore companies to store funds.
Bermuda-based law firm Appleby helped wealthy investors use offshore companies to store funds. Photo credit: Newshub

The New Zealand Super Fund used the law firm at the centre of the Paradise Papers - the biggest data leak in history.

The papers show Bermuda-based law firm Appleby helped wealthy investors use offshore companies in low-tax countries to store funds.

Now there's a connection to one of New Zealand's biggest tax payers.

Guardians of NZ Superannuation, which manages NZ Super, says Appleby provided help with its reinsurance investment. That included advice on Bermudan law and the creation of separate accounts. 

On Appleby's advice, NZ Super put $43m into private fund Collier International Partners V.

But our Super Fund insists the investment is legal - and says all onshore and offshore tax obligations have been met.

Super Fund head of tax John Payne says all the investments are legal and transparent.

"Bermuda and a number of those other jurisdictions all have information sharing treaties with New Zealand revenue authorities. Certainly it's very transparent in relation to what we're doing," he told Newshub.

"Inland Revenue is very much aware of where we invest [and] how we treat those investments."

Mr Payne said areas like Bermuda are popular for institutional investors, as they help avoid the payment of unnecessary taxes.

Super Fund paid $1.2B in New Zealand taxes in 2016/17 - almost a tenth of all corporate tax.

Its pre-tax profit was $6.2B - including a huge $5.57B increase in its investment portfolio, according to NBR.

Newshub.

 

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