Labour's new tax policy has drawn a wide array of criticism for not going far enough but the party's leader, Jacinda Ardern, says it's "best for New Zealand in our times".
Although it has been welcomed by the likes of the PSA union, the Green Party and even a Rich Lister have called out Labour for "tinkering" with a "far from radical" tax plan.
The party yesterday promised, if re-elected, it would introduce a new 39 per cent top tax rate on anyone earning over $180,000 a year, which would bring in $550 million in revenue a year.
That money would be put towards health, education and paying down New Zealand's Covid-19 debt.
Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson said the tax would only impact about 2 per cent of all New Zealanders.
If someone earned $200,000 a year, for example, the tax would cost them just $23 a week - $1200 a year.
And it was good news for the other 98 per cent of New Zealand's as well – under a Labour-led Government there would be no additional tax.
"Our plan strikes a balance as we recover from Covid-19," Robertson said.
"Now is the time to provide New Zealanders with certainty and with confidence," Ardern said.
Both Robertson and Ardern pointed out that even with the increased top tax rate, wealthy New Zealanders still pay less in tax than they would if they lived in Australia.
In fact, the proposed top tax bracket still means that New Zealand is in the bottom third of the 36 OECD countries when it comes to a top tax rate.
And it's with this that the Green Party take issue.
Although co-leader James Shaw said a higher top tax rate was "long overdue" it was still simply not enough.
"It is tinkering that won't address the long-term challenges facing Aotearoa."
The party wants New Zealand's richest to be taxed much, much more.
Shaw wants two more tax brackets added, one at 36 per cent for people earning more than $100,000 and one at 42 per cent at $150,000.
At the moment, the highest tax bracket is 33 per cent – paid by those earning more than $70,000 a year.
"With the Greens in Government, we will push for taxation policy that truly addresses the challenges we face, so everyone can live with dignity," Shaw said.
But the Greens tax plan looks unlikely to be a reality even if it is able to form a coalition with Labour after the election.
Speaking to media yesterday, Robertson said that Labour's tax policy would be the full extent of any tax changes in a Government his party leads.
"This is Labour's tax policy. We are committing to not implementing anything other than this if we are in Government," Robertson said.
Meanwhile, Property Developer Troy Bowker – whose net worth according to the NBR Rich List is $84 million – said the policy is a clear signal that this Labour Government appears to have given up its agenda to redistribute wealth via the tax system.
"Far from being radical, this policy could easily have come from the National Party."
And the National Party was not happy either – albeit for different reasons.
"No country in the world has ever taxed itself out of recession, but Labour's first instinct is to raise your taxes," its finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith said.
Despite Robertson's comments that this was the be-all and end-all of Labour's tax plans, Goldsmith said that this was "just the beginning".
"Labour will eventually widen the net and come after middle-income earners."
This drew a strong rebuke from Ardern, who dismissed the comments as "misinformation".
She added that National's statement was just "opposition politics".
But the PSA said the new tax was a step in the right direction.
"We're pleased to see Labour policies that can help shift New Zealand in a more equal direction, and we know PSA members will be happy to see more money available for essential public and community services."