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How fascinating are these revelations in the story of how Larry Page – the sixth richest man in the world – got into New Zealand?
It turns out the Google co-founder is a New Zealand resident.
No explanation for how he got that.
He’s been in Fiji, his child got sick, so mid-January this year – closed borders remember – he gets a medevac and heads to Starship Hospital.
And then into MIQ.
Once there, his staff request an upgrade into a more luxurious hotel facility which gets denied.
Welcome to New Zealand Larry.
We don’t do special treatment.
Now as I said yesterday, you can’t begrudge our health services giving a hand to a child, especially one that is clearly quite sick.
But it is somewhat ironic that we taxpayers have just footed the hospital bill at Starship for Larry.
And presumably we have also footed the bill for his MIQ stay.
When the company he is a director and major shareholder of pays a disgracefully low amount of tax itself.
As Chris Keall writes in the Herald today: Google has “moved quite assertively to minimise its tax exposure in New Zealand”.
In 2019 Google New Zealand sent $511 million to its US corporate parent as an in house ‘service fee’, so in the end, it ended up paying a paltry $3.3 million in tax here.
Google does this in so many countries and irritates them so badly that the G20 is now planning a crackdown on it.
So if there is a silver lining to Larry’s dash to New Zealand, hopefully it is that he goes back to his mates at Google and raves about Starship and raves about MIQ and raves about how New Zealand taxes fund free services like that.
And gets them to do their bit and pay their taxes to fund those services for next time he’s around.