Young lawyers debate global tax policy with IMF deputy director

by NZ Lawyer23 Jun 2014
The IMF’s fiscal affairs department deputy director, Michael Keen, met with eight young lawyers to discuss and debate global tax policy on a recent trip to New Zealand.

Keen, this year’s Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship visiting lecturer, was in the country for the two-day Tax Administration for the 21st Century Conference.

The conference, organised by Inland Revenue, Treasury and Victoria University, was a chance for Minister of Revenue Todd McClay and leading New Zealand tax experts to share their views on future tax policy.

Chapman Tripp’s Mieke Upton, Russell McVeagh’s Chris Harker and Alex Carr and Arron MacDonald from Inland Revenue went to the Wellington event.

Russell McVeagh’s Greg Neill, Bell Gully’s Kate Haywood, Inland Revenue’s Rhonda Gregory and Chapman Tripp’s Byul Han attended the Auckland event.

Attendees were selected by their employers as being potential leaders in the field of tax policy development. As well as discussing and debating a number of tax policy topics with Keen, they also had the chance to share a meal and socialise with him afterwards.

The lawyers said they enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about tax and engage with other professionals from other firms at their level.

The director of Tax Management NZ, Ian Kperus, created the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarships, which were established to inspire future tax policy leaders and support the continuation of leading tax policy thinking in New Zealand.

The scholarships committee sponsor a leading international tax policy thinker to visit New Zealand to engage in debate and discussion.

Professor Alan Auerbach of the University of California, Berkeley was the first visiting lecturer last year.

Carolyn Palmer, the inaugural scholarship recipient, is researching the tax policy response to natural disasters such as the Christchurch earthquakes and the Queensland floods.