Seymour: 'Minor tweaks' and our tax rules are fixed

David Seymour (Simon Wong/Newshub.)
David Seymour (Simon Wong/Newshub.)

ACT Party leader David Seymour has had a crack at the Opposition and media over their reactions to the Panama Papers.

The Government appointed tax investigator John Shewan to investigate our foreign tax rules after New Zealand was revealed in the May 10 leak as a favoured spot for the rich to hide their wealth.

Despite the Government adopting all 16 of his recommendations, Mr Seymour says they leave the Panama Papers saga looking like a bit of a flop.

"It was supposed to be the end of the world and New Zealand's international reputation. You had TVNZ and Radio New Zealand believing they were onto the scoop of the century," he told Newshub.

"As it turned out, the only thing that had to happen was a couple of minor tweaks to the tax code."

He also called out the Greens, Labour and New Zealand First parties as "racist xenophobes".

"The unmistakable undercurrent was that foreigners are inherently bad, that people doing business across borders is inherently bad, and that we should be very, very leery of international commerce."

He lumped them in with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who wants to cancel international trade agreements with the likes of Mexico and China; Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who wants to cut immigration and launch a royal commission into whether Islam is a real religion; and "Brexiteers" - those who voted for the UK to quit the European Union.

Finance Minister Bill English is calling the recommendations sensible and well-reasoned.

The Green Party says the Government's backdown on foreign trusts is welcome, saying they've been wanting similar changes since 2012.