Skip to main content
Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

14 March 2018 - Tax Working Group open minded on how to future proof the tax system

Press releases

Issue date: 14 March 2018

Version note: Issued by Hon Sir Michael Cullen.

Copyright: © Crown Copyright, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

A national conversation is well underway on the future of tax and the Tax Working Group remains open minded about where it will lead.

Taxes on wealth, capital gains and unhealthy products have all been keenly debated since the call went out for submissions on March 1st.

Today, the Tax Working Group has released a Submissions Background Paper, which aims to provide more context to these issues and the many more that are up for discussion over the next six weeks.

The group's website ( has also been updated to include thought-provoking videos and a quick comment facility. Longer, more detailed submissions are also welcomed and can be sent to [email protected].

Group Chair Sir Michael Cullen says it’s time to turn that robust debate into actual submissions.

"It's heartening to hear New Zealanders have a lot to say about these issues as tax affects everyone.

"But anyone who wants to make a difference and have their views heard should go to the website and take part in the process."

View transcript

It's time to have your say on the future of tax.

Our world is changing. Our population is ageing. Our environment needs protecting. And new technologies mean work could look very different in the future.

Tax will play an important role in helping us meet these challenges.

Because no matter what happens we're still going to need to pay for things like hospitals, schools and roads that make New Zealand a great place to live.

We want your views on how we can pass on a tax system that will continue to support future generations.

You might be thinking: what do I know about tax? Luckily you don't need to be a tax expert to have your say.

That's because tax affects us all. It comes out of the money we earn and out of everything we buy.

And it pays for all those essential services that our whānau rely on every day.

You pay your taxes and the government provides services and support. That's the deal.

So what does the future of tax look like for you?

The Tax Working Group wants your thoughts on this important kaupapa. Have your say at

Sir Michael says it’s clear that a capital gains tax and land taxes will be among the most contentious issues.

"I want to take this opportunity to remind New Zealanders that the family home is completely out of the mix but that still leaves plenty of scope to review other ways such taxes might be applied. Inheritance taxes are off the table too.

"This is very much the discussion and consideration phase. No decisions have been made and there are no preconceived ideas about where this process will end up. Every idea will be examined on its merits.

"We're not being asked how to raise more revenue for the government but we are being asked how to maintain the current level in the face of some major future challenges such as an ageing population and new technologies."

The Tax Working Group is encouraging all New Zealanders to have their say on the future of tax.

Making a submission is easy at Submissions close on April 30.


Media contact: 029 890 1674 or [email protected]

Last updated: 13 March 2018