On 30 September 2016, the Minister of Revenue, the Hon Michael Woodhouse, noted that on 1 October 2016, New Zealand will celebrate 30 years of having a GST system that is world leading and simple to apply. The Minister said:
"For 30 years now, the basic concepts of GST have remained unchanged since its introduction, and have rightly seen New Zealand's GST system held up around the world as a model for other nations.
When our goods and services tax was introduced, it was marked by three revolutionary concepts:
• it was levied at a single rate
• it has very few exemptions, making it a broad-based tax, and
• it was subject to extensive public consultation.
A broad-based, low rate approach helps ensure that our GST is fair and generally free of the sorts of complexities seen in other such taxes around the world. This has made it easy to comply with and the revenue raised meant that income tax could be lowered.
On its 30th birthday, our GST will now also cover online purchases of cross-border services.
From tomorrow, GST will apply to cross-border services - including e-books, music, videos and software purchased from overseas websites.
It's pleasing to see that on the day this change comes into effect, Inland Revenue have already received at least 75 GST on remote services registrants.
This is the latest evolution of our broad-based tax and is an example of the government working with the private sector to produce sound tax policy which is fair to all."