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Country Profile - New Zealand continued...


New Zealand has a mixed economy which operates on free market principles with sizeable manufacturing and service sectors complementing a highly efficient export oriented agricultural sector. The agricultural, horticultural, forestry, mining, energy and fishing industries play a fundamentally important role in New Zealand's economy, particularly in the export sector and in employment. Overall, the primary sector contributes over 50% of New Zealand's total export earnings. The service sector accounts for over two-thirds of GDP and employs around 65% of the workforce. Transport is a major component of economic activity in New Zealand with the efficiency of the country's internal transport system playing a critical role in New Zealand's economic growth. Tourism is one of the largest single sources of foreign-exchange revenue and a major growth industry in New Zealand.

The economy is strongly trade-oriented, with exports of goods and services accounting for around 33% of total output. The largest export markets are Australia, USA, Japan and China, Korea and the UK.

Source: Statistics NZ and Treasury NZ

For an extensive summary of the NZ economy see the website of The Treasury at

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The tax year begins on 1 April. Employees have tax deducted from their income on a "pay as you earn" (PAYE) basis. Since the introduction in 1985 of consumption or Goods and Services Tax (GST), currently set at 15%, income tax rates have been considerably reduced.

Non-cash forms of remuneration received by employees (e.g. company cars) are not subject to income tax, but are instead subject to a Fringe Benefits Tax, which is payable by the employer. For the most recent tax details visit the IRD website at -

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