Three former Treasury heads came together to discuss NZ’s approach to tax reform over the past 30 years, at a forum hosted by the Tax Policy Charitable Trust.
The Tax Policy Charitable Trust, funded by Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ) aims to promote broader tax thinking for the public good, helping to shape discussion on positive tax policy for all New Zealanders.
This year, the Trust brought together three of New Zealand’s great economic leaders to discuss New Zealand’s approach to tax reform and to reflect on tax policies developed during their time as the Secretary to the Treasury.
Dr Graham Scott, Dr Murray Horn and Dr Alan Bollard led Treasury from 1986 to 2002, a period of significant change across all aspects of the New Zealand economy. Facilitated by Sir Rob McLeod, they discussed changes they oversaw during their time, and shared their views on the tax challenges and opportunities facing the country today.
The session was a great opportunity for to hear about the benefits good tax reform processes have delivered over the past three decades.
Chris Cunniffe, CEO of TMNZ said “Their shared observations on that massive period of economic change in New Zealand’s history is invaluable knowledge for young tax policy stakeholders. It was fascinating to reflect on how the tax system was restructured in that time for the better.”
The evening was attended by leaders in tax, professional services firms, public service and academia. The insightful commentary from Dr Alan Bollard, Dr Murray Horn, Dr Graham Scott and Sir Rob McLeod sparked many conversations on the current economic challenges of the country.
John Shewan, Chair of the Tax Policy Charitable Trust said “Collectively the presentations and associated Q&A shone the light on a remarkable period of New Zealand history. We can learn a great deal from history.
Young professionals expressed astonishment at Dr Graham Scott’s description of New Zealand’s situation in 1984, and at the speed and depth of reform that followed. We sometimes assume that everyone knows what happened back then, but clearly not. One of the core objectives of the Tax Policy Charitable Trust is to engender interest in policy among young professionals, and the evening achieved that in spade loads.”