Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern served New Zealand a sizzling steak in the form of a digestible and attractive tax.

She announced the Government was going ahead with plans to make sure highly digitalised companies – such as Facebook and Google – pay their "fair share of tax".

Ardern was never going to lose any points here and made a meal of the fact the tax was going to be all about fairness.

Big companies, such as Facebook, don't pay a lot of tax in New Zealand and, in the past, have been sneaky about the tax they do pay.


Forcing them to pay a between 2-3 per cent tax on the revenue they collect in New Zealand will not break the bank for Facebook.

Meanwhile, various other countries are moving, or have moved, in the same direction so Ardern's move was hardly unexpected, or controversial.

Even National supported it, with its finance spokeswoman Amy Adams saying the party thinks multinational should "pay their fair share" of tax.

She served up the steak, and we all lapped it up.

But behind that piece of prime rib is a pile of steamed brussels sprouts – the Tax Working Group's final report, which will be publicly released on Thursday.

This one is a lot trickier for the Government and won't be swallowed as easily as slapping some of the world's biggest companies with a relatively small tax.

Within the report's hundreds of pages will be some sort of recommendation for a capital gains tax.

There are few more politically divisive policies in New Zealand as this and Ardern knows it.


The Government will be attacked relentlessly by the Opposition and various different lobby groups for weeks. Any capital gains policy could well set the tone for the 2020 election.

No matter how you look at it, it's going to be a hard sell.