Issue date: 
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Version note: 

Issued by Hon Sir Michael Cullen.

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

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."

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

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 13 March 2018