Quinn's time in NZ restricted

Tony Quinn.
Tony Quinn.
Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn says a ruling that means he can only spend 40 days in New Zealand next year will not affect his New Zealand business operations.

It will be ''business as usual'' at Highlands, in Cromwell, and his other motorsport venue, Hampton Downs, in north Waikato.

The ruling was made by the Inland Revenue Department this year and follows two years of discussions between Mr Quinn's representatives, the IRD and Immigration New Zealand after Mr Quinn overstayed in New Zealand by one day in 2015-16.

An Australian citizen, Mr Quinn was only permitted to stay in New Zealand for a maximum of 180 days in any 12-month period, but over a 12-month period in 2015-16 he stayed 181, he said.

He did not know about the 180-day rule, nor that it applied not to calendar years, but to any consecutive 12-month period, Mr Quinn said.

Spokesmen for the IRD and Immigration New Zealand said they were unable to discuss Mr Quinn's situation because of privacy laws.

Mr Quinn said he had ''argued the case'' about the issue and thought his one-day overstay had been ''blown out of all proportion'' by authorities, but he respected the ruling and would comply with it.

''I respect that companies and households and governments and countries need to have rules. We may not like them all, but we have to abide by them ... It's just part of the system.''

Mr Quinn said he knew of other people who had also ''innocently'' been caught out by the 180-day rule, and encouraged those working between Australia and New Zealand to find out more about tax and immigration laws.

He said he was happy to operate within the 40-day limit, and planned to spend more time than usual next year in England, where he had just acquired another business.

He would split his 40 days in New Zealand next year between his New Zealand business interests, and would next be at Highlands at the end of this month, racing an Aston Martin.

He would also compete at other Highlands events next year.

Mr Quinn's business operations would be unaffected by his restricted travel to New Zealand next year, he said.

''The secret in life and in business is to have good people to help you and work with you.

''I've got very good people in charge of my businesses and they will continue to do that.''

After the end of next year, Mr Quinn would again be permitted to spend up to 180 days every year in New Zealand and he planned ''to spend 179 days'' in the country.

''I love it to bits. I'm 61 and not ready to retire yet, but I might retire at 65 and my intention is to retire in New Zealand.''


Add a Comment