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Twenty years on – GST reaches a major milestone

Twenty years on – GST reaches a major milestone

Twenty years after the Goods & Services Tax revolutionised New Zealand’s taxation system, the controversial tax will be the subject of a major conference at Victoria University.

Early bird registrations for next month’s Twenty Years of GST: the Best Path Forward (Nov 16-18) will close on Saturday October 20 and could save individual attendees up to 20 percent.

Head of the School of Accounting & Commercial Law, Professor Keitha Dunstan, said the conference would bring together some of the key players involved in the introduction of GST.

“New Zealand’s introduction of GST was controversial at the time but now seems to be well accepted. While many other countries with value-added taxes have a host of confusing exemptions and differing rates for different products, New Zealand’s decision to stick to a ‘one rate, no exemptions’, while politically risky, is now seen a wise move.”

Professor Dunstan said the conference would be addressed by Sir Roger Douglas, the New Zealand Minister of Finance who introduced GST in October 1986, and almost 30 other international experts, as they review New Zealand’s experience.

“As global initiatives to reduce trade tariffs force countries to consider new forms of revenue raising, value added tax has emerged as one of the most important tax and revenue issues facing the world today.”

Conference speakers will consider its political, legal, administrative and social implications, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Cross border services, real property issues, revenue and business risk, the interpretation of GST law, economic integration in the Asia-Pacific and GST/VAT, and the future of the GST/VAT will all be discussed.

Organised by the Centre for Accounting & Governance & Taxation Research at Victoria University, in collaboration with the Taxation Law & Policy Research Institute at Melbourne’s Monash University, the conference is part of a larger, five-part GST Project. The GST Project includes the publication of a book on New Zealand’s GST experience and current GST/VAT issues, using material from conference presentations.

To register, and for more information including a full list of the 26 speakers and 12 commentators, please visit


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