Overseas Investment Office
NOT OF GOOD CHARACTER COMPLAINT AGAINST PERSON OWNING AND/OR CONTROLLING WELLINGTON ELECTRICITY
Dear Ms McClure,
The ground for our complaint against Mr Li Ka-shing, the person owning and/or controlling Wellington Electricity (through his Cheung Kong Group) is that of systematic non-payment of tax, both in New Zealand and Australia.
For supporting evidence, see this Dominion Post article and click on this link for a further Stuff article on the subject.
Here is an extract from that latter article.
"Some wealthy multinationals are thumbing their noses at the taxman and are not paying their fair share of tax, according to Labour. An example is the Wellington power lines company which appears to take an ‘optional’ approach to paying tax, says the Party's Associate Finance spokesman David Clark. Companies Office documents show Inland Revenue is auditing the books of the company, Wellington Electricity, which is linked to Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing. Other firms in Li's Cheung Kong group also face an A$776 million unpaid tax bill in Australia, though that is being appealed. Wellington Electricity has paid no company tax since its sale by Auckland-based Vector in 2008 for $785 million. The tax losses came despite healthy profits at operating ‘ebit’ level of close to $50m a year in 2012. Clark claimed the lines company looked to be avoiding tax and was an example of ‘those who are wealthy finding it optional to pay tax in New Zealand’. The electricity lines company may not be doing anything illegal, but getting around the law, ‘doesn't make it right’, he said. A tax expert, who declined to be named, said Wellington Electricity's high debt levels effectively meant it paid no tax. The debt looked ‘very aggressive’ and it was perhaps no surprise IRD was carrying out an audit of past tax years".
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Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa
Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand