23 Sep 2011

Cooks ministry to pay departure tax tab after exempting NZ delegates

7:07 am on 23 September 2011

It has been decided that the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration will now pay the departure tax of a New Zealand delegation given an exemption last July.

The audit director Paul Allsworth has completed a report of his investigation into the exemption awarded to the New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully and the 58 people travelling with him last July.

There was some initial confusion about whether the delegation's departure tax should be waived, and on the day of departure the group was allowed a temporary waiver in order for the situation to be clarified.

None of the delegates paid the tax of 55 New Zealand dollars, with the ministry paying the outstanding sum of 3,190 dollars.