New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English wants large multinational firms like Apple, Google and Facebook to pay higher taxes. But he admitted it would be difficult for one nation to pressure them to do that since these companies have structured their businesses that they would minimise tax payments.

He told Radio New Zealand, "We're very keen to see them pay more tax ... the tricky bit is that it requires combined international action."

The minister cited the case of Apple Sales New Zealand, which in March 2013 logged a 38 per cent increase in full-year sales to $571 million selling iPhones, iPads and Ipods, but the firm paid only 0.4 per cent of the amount.

He also pointed to Facebook New Zealand which paid a tax of only $14,500 to New Zealand in 2012, while Google's total tax was only $109,000. Mr English said the tax loopholes for multinational allow such small payments by foreign companies earning megabucks in the country.

He said nations must agree on tax regulations for multinational like Google, Apple, Starbucks and similar firms with global operations.

The minister's proposal was backed by radio listeners who wrote their comments on's page.

Anabela Oliveira Lewis believes that businesses should pay at least 40% of their earnings as taxes. PuntyNZ wrote, "They should pay their fair share of tax just like I have to in my business. Why should they get away with less?"

GNZT suggested that Mr English should enter into an agreement with Apple to have production and assembly plants in New Zealand so Kiwis could be employed, while cutting off the Australian go-between and initiating direct ties with Apple U.S.