National's Steven Joyce says the future of Super Fund payments could depend on negotiations with Winston Peters to form the next coalition government.

Joyce made the comment after Peters criticised National for its handling of the fund, saying it would now be worth $52 billion rather than $35 billion had National not halted Government contributions to the fund in 2008 and started taxing its returns from 2014.

Those taxes came to a whopping $1.2 billion over the last year.

Peters made it clear the Super Fund would be on the table for negotiations with both National and Labour - although Labour has already committed to starting contributions again immediately.


Peters accused National of robbing New Zealanders' "nest egg" and said the decision to start taxing the fund after 2014 was shortsighted.

"To start building up a surplus by taxing something that derives from taxes is extraordinary. These are things we are going to have to discuss with people and hope they see common sense.

"Had the Government not stopped contributions and then started taxing it in 2014, this fund would have been about $52 billion-plus. It's a world-leading fund."

Winston Peters has refused to talk about the process of government negotiations. Photo / Dean Purcell
Winston Peters has refused to talk about the process of government negotiations. Photo / Dean Purcell

Joyce said National always said it would restart contributions when the books were healthy enough after the Global Financial Crisis and Christchurch earthquakes - that was expected to be in 2020 "but obviously that is subject to the formation of the next Government."

He said it could be brought forward.

"Of course it could. That will depend on the outcome of negotiations currently before politicians and all those things are in the balance until a new government is formed."

He defended halting the contributions in 2008, saying it had not made sense to continue them with the short term demands of the global crisis and earthquakes.

Peters' comments were sparked by news the Super Fund was taxed a record amount of $1.2 billion for the 20.7 per cent return on its investments over the past year.


That boosted the fund by $5 billion to a total value of $35 billion.

The fund has shown average returns of 10.2 per cent a year over the past 14 years and was set up by the former Labour Government to help fund the future cost of superannuation.

Peters has refused to talk about the process of government negotiations or what policies he might consider until after the results of special votes are declared on October 7 - but is still talking about issues that concern his party's policies.

Labour would restart contributions immediately while National had proposed waiting until net debt was at 20 per cent of GDP - expected in 2020/21.